Juvenile crime

Although violent crime and property crime have declined steeply since the 1990s, there are still about 35,000 juvenile members in our nation’s gangs today – nearly 60% of whom live in large cities. About 10% are female. In 2019, law enforcement apprehended 976 gang members. It is estimated that fewer than half of all serious violent crimes by juveniles are reported to law enforcement. Advocates say our efforts to reduce the number of these crimes have not been successful. In the past, efforts to cut juvenile crime activity have centered on harsher jail sentences and prosecuting minors as adults. Critics claim that, rather than reducing crime, this policy has backfired by creating more career criminals. Social workers provide front line prevention and treatment services in the areas of school violence, aging, teen pregnancy, child abuse, domestic violence, juvenile crime and substance abuse. They offer valuable insight on these complex problems taking into account a wide range of social, medical, economic and community influences. Advocates claim the knowledge and experience of these professionals are invaluable in making informed decisions about how to best solve our juvenile crime problem.

Proposed Legislation: Reintroduction of H.R.7644 - Juvenile Incarceration Reduction Act of 2020
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX)

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Poll Opening Date
May 22, 2023
Poll Closing Date
May 28, 2023

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