Take these quick and simple actions for peace! Each area is an important component to help make peace a priority in our nation and world. A few moments of your time will make a difference.
Recently, the Senate unanimously passed S. 1635, the Department of State Authorization for 2016 containing a core part of the Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act (GAP Act), S. 2551, which is one of our top peacebuilding legislative priorities. The Senate is now back in session and we need you to call and write your Senators, urging them to go further by fully passing S. 2551, the GAP Act.
Right now, Committees in the House and Senate are starting to draft the 2017 Budget. At this early stage of the process, few things are decided and we have a much greater opportunity to influence. But that means that we have to act right now to make sure important Peacebuilding programs will be fully funded in 2017. In the 2016 Budget, several peacebuilding programs were cut, so we need your voice now.
The Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act, S.2551, was finally introduced in the Senate just a few days ago. This is an important bill that we all need to get behind. The Act will coordinate an interagency approach to preventing mass atrocities, integrate early warning systems, oversee development and implementation of atrocities prevention strategies, and conduct atrocities specific planning.
The Sentencing Reform and CORRECTIONS Act, S. 2123, is a strongly bipartisan piece of legislation that passed out of the Judiciary Committee with an overwhelming 15-5 vote. But Mitch McConnell has not yet brought it to a vote on the Senate floor. The only way he will bring it to a vote is if he hears other Senators demanding it, and those Senators will only tell him to bring it to a vote if their constituents- that's you- express to them how important the Sentencing Reform and CORRECTIONS Act is to you.
This week, Congress is in full negotiations regarding re-authorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). Youth who are locked up are separated from their families, and many witness or experience violence. These youth struggle when they get out, trying to complete high school, get jobs, housing, or go to college. The Act requires states to keep youth separated from adults prior to trial as well as in prison, invests in alternatives to incarceration, and provides youth support necessary for successful rehabilitation and re-entry into their communities -- among many other important functions.
Major Sentencing Reform Legislation is advancing in the Senate, with a bipartisan bill, the Sentencing Reform and CORRECTIONS Act, S. 2123. While it is a compromise, it contains many very positive elements, and we want your help passing it. If Congress passes this bill, it would be by far the biggest shift in Criminal Justice policy in decades. And for once, it would be a substantial change for the better.
A little over twenty years ago, one million Rwandans were murdered in less than 100 days. What makes the genocide in Rwanda so unspeakable is not only the horror of the genocide itself, but that this genocide might have been preventable. What if we could have helped save many of those lives? In the future, we can.
There are Peace Alliance supporters converging on Capitol Hill this week around the country today as part of our Peace Alliance conference. One of the key messages we are bringing to Congress is that our nation's hardest hit communities deserve the support and funding they desperately need to implement youth violence prevention and intervention strategies. That's why we are urging their support of the Youth PROMISE Act.
Friends, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing soon to mark up and vote on the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, S. 1169. The JJDPA is the core of nearly everything the federal government does in Juvenile Justice, but it's past due for re-authorization. It will require states to keep youth separated from adults prior to trial as well as in prison, strengthen rules on disproportionate minority contact, invest in alternatives to incarceration, and removes an exception that allowed states to put status offenders in prison.
There is a remarkable political momentum happening across our nation right now to reform our criminal justice system. Thankfully, the momentum is coming from both sides of the aisle. Humanizing our Justice Systems is a core priority at The Peace Alliance as well, and we are glad to share that there is a sweeping new bill before Congress right now called the SAFE Justice Act.