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October 11, 2022

Trone, Cárdenas, Spartz Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Designating October 2022 National Youth Justice Action Month


October 11, 2022

Contact: Sloane Gallagher,

Trone, Cárdenas, Spartz Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Designating October 2022 National Youth Justice Action Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Congressman David Trone (D-MD), Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), and Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (R-IN)introduced a bipartisan resolution designating October 2022 as National Youth Justice Action Month. The resolution shines light on the collateral consequences youth face when they are treated as adults in the criminal justice system, and encourages the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to prioritize rehabilitation and support over wasteful incarceration. Earlier this month, President Joe Biden proclaimed October 2022 to be National Youth Justice Action Month.

“It should be our nation’s highest priority to build a brighter future for our youth. As a nation with the highest youth incarceration rate, this priority is even more vital,” said Congressman Trone. “During National Youth Justice Action Month, we recommit ourselves to calling for accountability in our justice system and focusing on compassionate, effective policies to ensure everyone is given the chance to achieve the American Dream. We cannot accept the status quo – let’s get to work.”

“Every year, 53,000 young people are tried and sentenced in the United States,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “The fact is our children belong in schools, not prisons.  Yet, for too long, we have relied on an outdated juvenile justice model that prioritizes wasteful incarceration over efficient, effective rehabilitation.  Our resolution aims to shine light on the systemic problems in our juvenile justice system that keeps young Americans in a perpetual cycle of incarceration .”

“Effectiveness of the juvenile justice system, prevention efforts and successful rehabilitation are critical to keeping our communities safe and giving second chances,” said Congresswoman Spartz. “I am happy to join my colleagues in celebrating and raising awareness of these efforts through National Youth Justice Action Month.”

A companion resolution is set to be introduced byU.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

“Kids who end up in the legal system deserve a fair chance to thrive as productive members of society.  But this system too often fails our nation’s kids – particularly young people of color and youngsters with disabilities or mental health issues,” said Whitehouse, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a former Rhode Island Attorney General and U.S. Attorney.  “This October, we must commit to improving our juvenile justice system while also strengthening community-based efforts to ensure that young people receive age-appropriate support to stay out of the criminal justice system and get their lives on track.”

The United States has the highest youth incarceration rates of any developed nation. Each year, 53,000 of America’s youths are tried or sentenced as adults – most of whom are prosecuted for nonviolent offenses. Children under the age of 18 are not allowed to vote, yet in many states, children as young as seven can be tried as adults. According to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, prosecuting youth in adult courts increases crime – on average, they are three percent more likely to commit future crimes than youth detained in the juvenile system.  

The resolution is endorsed by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, National Juvenile Justice Network, Alianza for Youth Justice, American Youth Policy Forum, Association of Children’s Residential & Community Services, Boys Town, BUILD Program, Center for Children’s Law and Policy, Champions in Service, Coalition for Engaged Education, Human Rights for Kids, Impact Justice, MENTOR, National Network for Youth, Raikes Foundation, Rights4Girls, Strategies for Youth, The Gault Center, The Sentencing Project, Youth Villages, 24 and None, Arts for Healing and Justice Network, Citizens for Juvenile Justice, Connecticut Justice Alliance, Nevada Division of Child and Family Services, Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children, Iowa’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Council, Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, Ohio Juvenile Justice Coalition, Hawaii Juvenile Justice State Advisory Council, Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Kentucky Youth Advocates Legal Rights Center, Michigan Center for Youth Justice, Michigan Children’s Law Center, Partnership Council for Juvenile Justice, Revolve Impact, Sycamores, Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, The Choice Program, The Dannon Project, The Kentucky Administrative Office of The Courts, Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys, Visionary Youth Los Angeles, and Youth Justice Initiative.

To read the resolution, click here

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees in the 117th Congress. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.

Follow Congressman Trone at @RepDavidTrone for updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.