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A Better Way for Vulnerable Youth

House lawmakers came together yesterday to provide more men and women A Better Way by strengthening career and technical education. Today, the committee is focused on another solution that will help individuals achieve a lifetime of success—individuals like Sloane Baxter.

As a teenager, Sloane was on the wrong path. After entering D.C.’s juvenile justice system, he participated in a community-based alternative program called Boys Town‎—the same program Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) visited earlier this year. Today, Sloane is a high school graduate, works as a coffee barista, and runs his own home improvement business. In describing his inspirational journey at a committee hearing, he said:

I easily could have become a statistic ... Instead, I’m a tax-paying, contributing member of society. There is that same possibility in every other young person as long as you, me, all of us are willing to not give up on them before they even really get to start.

That was a year ago. Today, the committee will mark up the Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act (H.R. 5963), a bill that will improve our juvenile justice system and help state and local leaders better serve vulnerable children like Sloane.

Introduced by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Ranking Member Scott, this bipartisan legislation includes reforms that will:

  • Set kids up for long-term success by helping them acquire skills necessary to grow into productive members of society and promoting opportunities to turn their lives around.

  • Provide state and local leaders flexibility to meet the needs of delinquent youth in their communities and improve public safety;

  • Help at-risk youth avoid the juvenile justice system by supporting prevention services;

  • Prioritize what works by focusing on evidence-based strategies with proven track records; and

  • Improve accountability and oversight to deliver positive outcomes for kids and protect taxpayers.

By enhancing opportunity for vulnerable children and giving kids the second chance they need to turn their lives around, H.R. 5963 is one more solution to offer Americans A Better Way.

For more information on the bill, click here.