Bruce Lesley, President at First Focus Campaign for Childrenmade the following statement as advocacy groups and members of Congress, including Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D- CA), Karen Bass (D- CA), and Bruce Westerman (R-AR), urged passage today of bipartisan legislation to treat children like children in the federal criminal legal system. 

“Our compassion for children who have experienced abuse and neglect can’t stop at the doors of juvenile detention centers or criminal courts when the overwhelming majority of justice-system involved girls report being victims of multiple types of abuse and neglect. American children, 40 percent of whom are victimized by 2 or more types of violence, are exposed to violence and crime more than adults — yet they have a greater propensity than adults to heal, grow, and change. During Youth Justice Action Month, we are reminded that kids deserve the opportunity to grow and bring their renewed potential back to our neighborhoods.”

The press event comes after the introduction of Congressman Cárdenas’ commemorative Resolution recognizing October as Youth Justice Action Month.

Please find details in the attached release.