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Buffalo Youth PROMISE Act: City of Buffalo Council member Wyatt Sponsors Resolution to Curb the Cradle to Prison Pipeline

HEART Board Member and University District Council Member Rasheed N.C. Wyatt presented a special session of a legislative hearing in late March to announce his endorsement of the establishment of the Buffalo Youth Promise Act, a resolution he sponsored that was recently adopted by the full City of Buffalo Common Council.

A number of judicial officials, activists and leadership from community-based organizations that serve youth attended the meeting, including HEART President/Founder Umar Adeyola who voiced support at the public hearing to develop inter-agency strategies to deter juvenile delinquency and gang activity.

The national Youth PROMISE Act (Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education) is bipartisan legislation (H.R. 1318 & S. 1307) proposed to the U.S. Congress that will give our communities the support and funding they need to effectively address youth violence issues.  By specifically focusing on violence prevention and intervention strategies, this bill ensures programs are funded that save lives and give every young person the opportunity to meet his or her potential. To learn more about the national act, click here. 

This breakthrough piece of legislation will implement and fund evidence-based practices related to juvenile justice and criminal gang activity. It will work to interrupt the cradle to prison pipeline that is far too common today by supporting proven prevention and intervention strategies. The act will both encourage and require leadership and oversight of these programs through community-based committees. Research shows that evidenced-based prevention programs for at-risk youth greatly reduce crime and save much more than they cost. And most importantly, these programs also save lives.

Council Member Wyatt has formed an Ad Hoc Committee that will begin the strategic development process. "I highly commend and stand behind Council Member Wyatt's pre-emptive efforts," praised Umar Adeyola who will serve on the committee.  "Society has a responsibility to address the developmental challenges and needs of young persons. Communities and families should work in concert with others to prevent youth crime by addressing its underlying causes, responding to the needs of young persons and providing guidance and support." 



New York State should pass legislation to raise the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 so that youth who are charged with a crime are treated in more age appropriate manner.


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