Marian Wright Edelman Testimony at House Committee on Judiciary Hearing

For Immediate Release
July 15, 2009
For More Information Contact:
Ed Shelleby
(202) 662-3602


WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman testified at a hearing on the Youth PROMISE Act before the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security of the House Committee on the Judiciary.   Excerpts from her testimony are included below.

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“CDF lends its full and enthusiastic support to the Act and what it promises for the children and youth of our nation. It gives many of our children who now have no hope, the chance to have safe, nurturing lives and productive futures. It gives us all hope for a better tomorrow. The Youth PROMISE Act shifts the policy and practice paradigm away from punishment and incarceration to prevention and earlier intervention. It builds on what we know works and encourages states and communities to put in place alternatives to incarceration for youth... It recognizes that in order for us to fully utilize and realize the benefits of these promising approaches, we also need leadership and significant changes in the policies and practices that now too often push children into the pipeline to prison and keep them there.

“I applaud Chairman Scott and Representative Castle for developing and promoting, with the 224 co-sponsors, the Youth PROMISE Act, which takes such very important steps forward in helping to dismantle the pipeline to prison. The Children’s Defense Fund and I personally look forward to helping you ensure its enactment so we can make prevention and early intervention not just the right message for children but the right solution for children. It is absolutely imperative that we develop and implement comprehensive program, practice and policy solutions that keep our children on the road to successful adulthood. This is the only way that we will create a nation and world that is safe, free and filled with the opportunities about which too many children now only dream. Thank you.”