Target: United States Senators Cory Booker and Rand Paul
Goal: Praise the senators for working across party lines towards sentencing reform for minors
The prospects of young people accused of crimes may be a little brighter in the future thanks to a new bill proposed by a pair of US senators. Senators Cory Booker, a liberal, and Rand Paul, a conservative, will soon introduce the REDEEM act, which would reform many aspects of criminal sentencing for minors. The senators seek to avoid “sending countless kids into the unforgiving adult criminal system” and will advocate for a variety of changes to achieve that goal, according to the Washington Post.
Currently, children accused of crimes may not always receive the best treatment at the hands of the criminal justice system. The REDEEM act would encourage states to raise the age of criminal responsibility to eighteen; currently, ten states set the age limit under that. States would also be encouraged to expunge or seal the records of people who commit non-violent crimes before the age of fifteen, and place limits on the amount of solitary confinement to which minors can be subjected. Having to live through a system intended for adults doesn’t just harm children who might have otherwise been rehabilitated; crimes that were committed when a person was young will still show up on background checks, leading to difficulty in finding employment. Children shouldn’t be treated like adults when it comes to criminal activity, and the senators are out to make sure that they won’t be any longer.
The REDEEM act has a long and bumpy road ahead of it, but Senators Booker and Paul have already demonstrated that juvenile sentencing reform is a bi-partisan enterprise. Hopefully the REDEEM act will gain momentum. By signing this petition, you will thank the senators for working to improve the lives of juveniles to make the justice system more fair.
Dear Senators Booker and Paul,
The recent announcement that the pair of you will be working together on juvenile sentencing reform was a welcome one indeed. Your REDEEM Act has the potential to improve the lives of children and prevent more of them from being thrown into a system that treats them like adults. Our justice system doesn’t always serve people well, but your efforts can improve the way it deals with minors.
Though the road ahead is long and uncertain, I hope you will stick with the REDEEM Act. Juvenile sentencing reform needs to happen, and you can make sure it does. Thank you for working on this important issue.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: FEMA/Bill Koplitz via Wikimedia Commons