View Full Version : Juvenile Provisions: STOP the Hatch/Feinstein Gang Legislation


Kathy
05-27-2004, 11:53 AM
STOP the Hatch/Feinstein Gang Legislation S. 1735, by writing Senators Dianna Feinstein and Orrin Hatch. Let them know that our children are not a resource we are willing to lose.

Hatch/Feinstein Gang Legislation (S. 1735)
Key Juvenile Provisions

S. 1735 would increase the number of youth prosecuted as adults in Federal court

Under current federal law
A hearing must be held before any youth can be prosecuted as an adult in federal court, as the American Bar Association standards require

Under S. 1735 proposed by Senators Hatch and Feinstein
Prosecutors would have sole discretion to charge as adults youth 16 years of age or older who are alleged to have committed a serious violent
felony (which could include such charges as robbery and firearms possession). The decision by the prosecutor would not be subject to appeal

S. 1735 would attempt to “federalize” juvenile crime by radically expanding the number of youth that could be prosecuted in federal court

Under current federal law
Youth charged with a delinquent act can be prosecuted in federal court if a U.S. attorney certifies that one of the following exists:

· A juvenile court in the state does not have jurisdiction or refuses to assume jurisdiction over the alleged act of delinquency
· The State does not have available programs and services adequate for the needs of youth
· The offense charged is a felony crime of violence or one of a series of serious drug or drug trafficking offenses and there is a substantial
Federal interest in the case to warrant the exercise of Federal jurisdiction

Under S. 1735 proposed by Senators Hatch and Feinstein
Youth charged with a delinquent act could be prosecuted in federal court based only on the assertion of a U.S. attorney that there is a substantial
Federal interest in the case to warrant the exercise of Federal jurisdiction

S. 1735 Would Not Reduce Crime or Protect Young People

Trying youth as adults does not reduce crime

· Youth transferred to adult court, where they will receive little or no education, mental heath, or rehabilitative programming, are more likely to re-
offend than those kept in the juvenile justice system, even compared to those charged with the same types of offenses
· Of youth who commit new crimes, those sent to adult court re-offend at twice the rate and commit more serious crimes upon release than youth
kept in juvenile court,

Adult facilities are dangerous places for young people

· Young people incarcerated with adults are five times as likely to report being raped, eight times as likely to attempt suicide, and 50% more likely
to be assaulted with a weapon than youth held in juvenile facilities
· Punishing young people involved in gang activity by sending them to adult facilities, where violence and exploitation are rampant, only
reinforces the behaviors their incarceration is supposed to correct.

Youth of color are most impacted by policies to try youth as adults

Recent studies have shown that more than 7 out of 10 youth admitted to state prisons were youth of color.
· Youth of color sent to adult court are over-represented in charges filed, especially for drug offenses, and are more likely to receive a sentence
of incarceration than White youth even when charged with the same types of offenses.

Removing youth from state juvenile justice systems greatly reduces their chances of receiving necessary treatment and intervention programs

· The Federal system does not have any programs or facilities to accommodate young people

Senator Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
Hart Senate Office Building
Suite 331
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Orrin Hatch
Hart Senate Office Building
Suite 105
Washington, DC 20510

For more information, contact the Youth Law Center
at either 202/637-0377 x115 or 415/543-3379 x3911

Kathy
05-27-2004, 11:54 AM
Additionally, consider the following:

Educate yourself on the juvenile justice issues facing your local community.
Let your voice be heard by being an educated Voter!

Push for new legislation that keeps valuable kids from going down the toilet. New legislation that calls for re-opening of juvenile life cases at a certain point (perhaps juvenile life age of 25) to review the facts and make sure the sentence is appropriate, changing it if it isn’t.
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