As I listened to Pope Francis addressing congress this weekend, I was inspired to his call to “do more” for peace in our schools and communities. When my children were in their teens I read that the brain of a male adolescent does not mature until around 25, female around 20 therefore, at-risk youth lack the ability to truly understand their consequences. When you look at $50,000-$200,000 for the cost of juvenile incarnation per bed each year and 63 percent of physical violence decreased in high schools with conflict resolution programs and curriculum and re-offense rate reduction from 65 percent to 7 percent from restorative justice oriented programs, you wonder why this is not a top priority in our educational system. Local communities across the country are taking the lead in developing and implementing innovative, evidence-based prevention and intervention practices. That is why I support The Youth PROMISE Act, a bipartisan legislation that uses community decision making and proven programs to save money and prevent youth violence. I along with Barbara Lynch and Jackie Pugh have scheduled meetings to urge Rep. Jim Jordan, along with Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, to give the Youth PROMISE Act their full support. I hope you are inspired to do the same.
Champaign County Peace Alliance, Mechanicsburg
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