The Youth Justice and Opportunities Act is important because it:
Protects Young People. The Youth Justice and Opportunities Act would protect the futures of emerging adults by providing the opportunity to move forward without the barriers created by a criminal conviction.
Reflects the Science. The Act is rooted in current adolescent brain development research and would allow judges to consider how brain development affects decision making when crafting an appropriate sentence for youth.
Addresses Racial Disparities. In recognition of the racial disparities in arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration, the Act would promote racial equity by mandating that judges grant YO and YA in many cases.
Saves Money for Community Investment. The Act would reduce State and local spending on youth incarceration – money that could be used to help alleviate poverty, ensure quality education, and fund treatment for mental health concerns and substance use disorders.
The Youth Justice and Opportunities Act would stabilize communities, promote community health, and increase public safety for all.