Senate Bill S. 10, sponsored by Orrin Hatch (Rep, Utah) and Jeff Sessions (Rep. Alabama), is ineptly and fraudulently titled "The Violent and Repeat Juvenile Offender Act". You will soon see why the title is another wonderful example of the Republican's ability to divert attention from reality by the simple expedient of lying about the true meaning of their crude legislation.
This piece of corruption has already been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and will probably be "debated" this spring. If you watch closely though, the sham debates that the Republican Congress has been wallowing in consists mostly of allowing a couple of Democrats to express their revulsion and outrage at whatever legislation is on the agenda, then the Republicans simply voting as a block to pass it over the objections of even the few American people who are capable of understanding the Republican's designs. They can get away with this, of course, simply because so few Americans have any idea what this group is doing to our once nearly great nation.
To begin let's change the word "Juvenile" and replace it with the word it actually means; "Children". These are your children we're speaking of, here, and not just some gang members or other bad guys. Not at all!
In the first place, studies have shown a significant drop in so-called juvenile crime over the last few years. Most responsible scholars attribute this drop, not to the mean spirited and ill- advised Republican love of prisons and long and meaningless sentences but rather to past juvenile policies, which most law enforcement agencies are just beginning to administer.
This bill would drag this nation even further into the Dark Ages the conservative movement seems to miss so badly. Just a few of its provisions are:
1) It would force the incarceration of juveniles in adult facilities where nearly every reliable study has shown that they are subject to rape, beatings and murder by both the other inmates as well as the guards. In fact, juveniles are eight times more likely to commit suicide in an adult prison than in a juvenile detention facility.
2) The abandonment of the Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, enacted after the public learned of the horrible abuses perpetrated on our children under exactly the conditions S. 10 would return America to.
3) This bill demands that even what is known as "status offenders" (runaways, truants, unmanageable children) be placed in adult jails for up to two weeks in the same cells as hardened criminals where they will be exposed to the danger of physical and sexual abuse.
4) Even children removed from their homes due to physical or sexual abuse will be required to be housed in adult facilities for a minimum of twenty-four hours. Obviously, this will trade parental abuse for the even more violent abuse of adult criminals.
5) This entire act completely erases the line between the criminal and juvenile justice systems. This will also make it far easier for these vile legislators to enact even more punitive laws attacking the very few rights our children have at present. Rather than provide any rehabilitation possibilities, these creatures will be able to just destroy whatever potential futures your children might enjoy due to the injustice of the Republican's penal system.
Gentle readers, I must again remind you that these are your children that are being put in danger, not some alien species or even adults who supposedly can make choices in their lives. This evil legislation would cause death and untold misery for millions of otherwise defenseless children who find themselves caught up in the increasingly punishment oriented "justice" system in America. Your child or your grandchild could find themselves sharing a cell with an adult criminal by virtue of being taken from his home to "protect" him (or her) from abuse and you would be absolutely and completely incapable of stopping it.
We can protect America from its violent criminals, no matter what their ages, without punishing the innocent for being too young to vote. We cannot, it seems, protect them from the mean spirited Republican Party. You must speak out against this obscenity before Congress can sneak it through into law. It is your children who will pay the price if you refuse to become involved with this horror and it is you who will be ultimately responsible for their suffering if you refuse to act. Please, think about this very seriously!
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