National Youth Justice Awareness Month, 2015, 60267-60269 [2015-25479]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 192 / Monday, October 5, 2015 / Presidential Documents 60267 Presidential Documents Proclamation 9339 of September 30, 2015 National Youth Justice Awareness Month, 2015 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation All our Nation’s children deserve the chance to fulfill their greatest potential, and nothing should limit the scope of their futures. But all too often, our juvenile and criminal justice systems weigh our young people down so heavily that they cannot reach their piece of the American dream. When that happens, America is deprived of immeasurable possibility. This month, we rededicate ourselves to preventing youth from entering the juvenile and criminal justice systems and recommit to building a country where all our daughters and sons can grow, flourish, and take our Nation to new and greater heights. Involvement in the justice system—even as a minor, and even if it does not result in a finding of guilt, delinquency, or conviction—can significantly impede a person’s ability to pursue a higher education, obtain a loan, find employment, or secure quality housing. Many who become involved in the juvenile justice system have experienced foster care or grown up in environments where violence and drugs were pervasive and opportunities were absent. Some studies have found that many youth in juvenile justice facilities have had a mental or substance use disorder in their young lives. These children are our Nation’s future—yet most of them were afforded no margin of error after making a mistake. Each year, there are more than 1 million arrests of young people under the age of 18, and the vast majority of those arrests are for non-violent crimes. Estimates show that half of black males, 44 percent of Hispanic males, and nearly 40 percent of white males are arrested by age 23. Nearly 55,000 individuals under age 21 are being held in juvenile justice facilities across the United States—a disproportionate number of whom are young people of color, including tribal youth. The proportion of detained and incarcerated girls and young women, often victims of abuse, has also significantly increased over the past few decades. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with D6 In addition to those serving time in juvenile justice facilities, on any given day, more than 5,000 youth under age 18 are serving time in adult prisons or local jails. Nine States prosecute all 17-year-olds as adults regardless of the crime committed, including two States that do the same for 16year-olds; and all States have transfer laws that allow or require criminal prosecution of certain youth. This continues despite studies showing that youth prosecuted in adult courts are more likely to commit future crimes than similarly situated youth who are prosecuted for the same offenses in the juvenile system. To hold a young person in a State-operated facility can cost upwards of $100,000 per year per individual. That money could be better spent—with improved youth and public safety outcomes—by investing in our children in ways that help keep them out of the juvenile and criminal justice systems in the first place, or that prevent them from penetrating deeper into the system. As a Nation that draws on the talents and ambitions of all our people, we must remain focused on providing the institutional support necessary to stop our youth from being locked into a cycle from which they cannot recover or fully take their place as citizens. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:22 Oct 02, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\05OCD6.SGM 05OCD6 60268 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 192 / Monday, October 5, 2015 / Presidential Documents My Administration is committed to working with States, as well as tribal and local jurisdictions, to implement reforms that reduce recidivism and improve youth outcomes. Last year, the Department of Justice launched the Smart on Juvenile Justice initiative to advance system-wide reforms that improve outcomes, eliminate disparities, and save money while holding youth appropriately accountable. These efforts include emphasizing prevention, promoting cost-effective and community-based alternatives to confinement, and sustaining programs that provide job training and substance use disorder treatment and counseling to youth in juvenile facilities. The Departments of Education and Justice are leading efforts to revamp school discipline policies and support underfunded schools so that our education system serves as a pathway to opportunity, rather than a pipeline to prison. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice are working to build better diversion policies to screen and treat youth for substance abuse, trauma, and unmet mental, emotional, and behavioral needs. Last year, I launched My Brother’s Keeper—an initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure all young people can reach their inherent potential. As part of this initiative, we are focused on reducing rates of violence while improving outcomes for all our youth. I also launched the Generation Indigenous initiative, which seeks to improve the lives of Native youth through new investments and increased engagement so they can achieve their highest aspirations. America is a Nation of second chances, and justice means giving every young person a fair shot—regardless of what they look like or what zip code they were born into. The system we created to safeguard this fundamental ideal must do exactly that. During National Youth Justice Month, let us recommit to ensuring our justice system acts not as a means for perpetuating a cycle of hopelessness, but as a framework for uplifting our young people with a sense of purpose so they can contribute to America’s success. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with D6 NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2015 as National Youth Justice Awareness Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by getting involved in community efforts to support our youth, and by participating in appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:22 Oct 02, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\05OCD6.SGM 05OCD6 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 192 / Monday, October 5, 2015 / Presidential Documents 60269 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth. [FR Doc. 2015–25479 Filed 10–2–15; 11:15 am] VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:22 Oct 02, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\05OCD6.SGM 05OCD6 OB#1.EPS</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with D6 Billing code 3295–F6–P

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 192 (Monday, October 5, 2015)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 60267-60269]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-25479]




                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 192 / Monday, October 5, 2015 / 
Presidential Documents

[[Page 60267]]


                Proclamation 9339 of September 30, 2015

                
National Youth Justice Awareness Month, 2015

                By the President of the United States of America

                A Proclamation

                All our Nation's children deserve the chance to fulfill 
                their greatest potential, and nothing should limit the 
                scope of their futures. But all too often, our juvenile 
                and criminal justice systems weigh our young people 
                down so heavily that they cannot reach their piece of 
                the American dream. When that happens, America is 
                deprived of immeasurable possibility. This month, we 
                rededicate ourselves to preventing youth from entering 
                the juvenile and criminal justice systems and recommit 
                to building a country where all our daughters and sons 
                can grow, flourish, and take our Nation to new and 
                greater heights.

                Involvement in the justice system--even as a minor, and 
                even if it does not result in a finding of guilt, 
                delinquency, or conviction--can significantly impede a 
                person's ability to pursue a higher education, obtain a 
                loan, find employment, or secure quality housing. Many 
                who become involved in the juvenile justice system have 
                experienced foster care or grown up in environments 
                where violence and drugs were pervasive and 
                opportunities were absent. Some studies have found that 
                many youth in juvenile justice facilities have had a 
                mental or substance use disorder in their young lives. 
                These children are our Nation's future--yet most of 
                them were afforded no margin of error after making a 
                mistake.

                Each year, there are more than 1 million arrests of 
                young people under the age of 18, and the vast majority 
                of those arrests are for non-violent crimes. Estimates 
                show that half of black males, 44 percent of Hispanic 
                males, and nearly 40 percent of white males are 
                arrested by age 23. Nearly 55,000 individuals under age 
                21 are being held in juvenile justice facilities across 
                the United States--a disproportionate number of whom 
                are young people of color, including tribal youth. The 
                proportion of detained and incarcerated girls and young 
                women, often victims of abuse, has also significantly 
                increased over the past few decades.

                In addition to those serving time in juvenile justice 
                facilities, on any given day, more than 5,000 youth 
                under age 18 are serving time in adult prisons or local 
                jails. Nine States prosecute all 17-year-olds as adults 
                regardless of the crime committed, including two States 
                that do the same for 16-year-olds; and all States have 
                transfer laws that allow or require criminal 
                prosecution of certain youth. This continues despite 
                studies showing that youth prosecuted in adult courts 
                are more likely to commit future crimes than similarly 
                situated youth who are prosecuted for the same offenses 
                in the juvenile system.

                To hold a young person in a State-operated facility can 
                cost upwards of $100,000 per year per individual. That 
                money could be better spent--with improved youth and 
                public safety outcomes--by investing in our children in 
                ways that help keep them out of the juvenile and 
                criminal justice systems in the first place, or that 
                prevent them from penetrating deeper into the system. 
                As a Nation that draws on the talents and ambitions of 
                all our people, we must remain focused on providing the 
                institutional support necessary to stop our youth from 
                being locked into a cycle from which they cannot 
                recover or fully take their place as citizens.

[[Page 60268]]

                My Administration is committed to working with States, 
                as well as tribal and local jurisdictions, to implement 
                reforms that reduce recidivism and improve youth 
                outcomes. Last year, the Department of Justice launched 
                the Smart on Juvenile Justice initiative to advance 
                system-wide reforms that improve outcomes, eliminate 
                disparities, and save money while holding youth 
                appropriately accountable. These efforts include 
                emphasizing prevention, promoting cost-effective and 
                community-based alternatives to confinement, and 
                sustaining programs that provide job training and 
                substance use disorder treatment and counseling to 
                youth in juvenile facilities. The Departments of 
                Education and Justice are leading efforts to revamp 
                school discipline policies and support underfunded 
                schools so that our education system serves as a 
                pathway to opportunity, rather than a pipeline to 
                prison. Additionally, the Department of Health and 
                Human Services and the Department of Justice are 
                working to build better diversion policies to screen 
                and treat youth for substance abuse, trauma, and unmet 
                mental, emotional, and behavioral needs.

                Last year, I launched My Brother's Keeper--an 
                initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced 
                by boys and young men of color and ensure all young 
                people can reach their inherent potential. As part of 
                this initiative, we are focused on reducing rates of 
                violence while improving outcomes for all our youth. I 
                also launched the Generation Indigenous initiative, 
                which seeks to improve the lives of Native youth 
                through new investments and increased engagement so 
                they can achieve their highest aspirations.

                America is a Nation of second chances, and justice 
                means giving every young person a fair shot--regardless 
                of what they look like or what zip code they were born 
                into. The system we created to safeguard this 
                fundamental ideal must do exactly that. During National 
                Youth Justice Month, let us recommit to ensuring our 
                justice system acts not as a means for perpetuating a 
                cycle of hopelessness, but as a framework for uplifting 
                our young people with a sense of purpose so they can 
                contribute to America's success.

                NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the 
                United States of America, by virtue of the authority 
                vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the 
                United States, do hereby proclaim October 2015 as 
                National Youth Justice Awareness Month. I call upon all 
                Americans to observe this month by getting involved in 
                community efforts to support our youth, and by 
                participating in appropriate ceremonies, activities, 
                and programs.

[[Page 60269]]

                IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 
                thirtieth day of September, in the year of our Lord two 
                thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United 
                States of America the two hundred and fortieth.
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

[FR Doc. 2015-25479
Filed 10-2-15; 11:15 am]
Billing code 3295-F6-P