Rep. Scott Hosts Briefing on the Cradle to Prison Pipeline: Effective Strategies to Prevent and Reduce Juvenile Crime and Gang Involvement

November 21, 2007
Press Release
RICHMOND, VA - On Wednesday, November 28, at 4:00 p.m., Rep. Bobby Scott will host a briefing for local law enforcement, public officials, educators, youth justice and faith-based organizations on how some children in this country are born on what the Children’s Defense Fund has labeled the “Cradle to Prison Pipeline,” and how they can be removed from it and placed instead on a “Cradle to College Pipeline.” 


Speakers will include a representative from the Children’s Defense Fund; Jesslyn McCurdy, Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union, Washington Legislative Office; Carol Chodroff, Juvenile Justice Policy Consultant, Campaign for Youth Justice; Tara Andrews, Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Programs, Coalition for Juvenile Justice; and Liz Ryan, President & CEO, Campaign for Youth Justice.


The discussion will focus on the need for effective and research based strategies to prevent and reduce youth delinquency and gang crime rather than the more politically popular, punitive methods that do not successfully reduce crime.  Several bills under development in Congress to address youth crime will be discussed, including the Feinstein (D-CA) anti-gang bill (S. 456) that passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent and is awaiting action in the House.  This bill emphasizes punitive approaches that would make the “Cradle to Prison Pipeline” worse.  Similarly, the Schiff (D-CA) gang bill (H.R. 3547), which is currently pending in the House, also emphasizes punitive approaches.  Both bills provide for a modest amount of prevention and intervention program funding.


Alternatively, also pending in the House is the Scott (D-VA) anti-gang bill (H.R. 3846), called the “Youth PROMISE Act.”  This bill emphasizes moving youth from the “Cradle to Prison Pipeline” to the “Cradle to College Pipeline” using proven prevention and intervention programs applicable at any point along the pipeline when an at-risk youth is identified.


The briefing will be held at 4:00 p.m. at the Virginia General Assembly Building, Senate Room A on the Capitol Grounds in Richmond, Virginia.