Sending Office: Honorable Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Sent By:
Michael.Viggiano@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Deadline: COB Friday, March 22

SIGN ON HERE

Dear Colleague:

Please join me in writing to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies in support of funding for programs that keep girls out of the juvenile justice system and away from the grip of human traffickers.

With the cost of incarcerating girls estimated to be $80,000 to $100,000 per year, per youth, and an increasing number of girls entering the juvenile justice system, it only makes sense to look for alternatives. We also are aware that numerous American girls
are lured into human trafficking each year. Clearly we need to do more to keep our girls safe.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the Department of Justice has identified several factors that put girls in the United States at an increased risk of becoming a victim of human trafficking. We know from research that human traffickers
target the most vulnerable girls in our nation – girls who are desperate, impoverished, and often without a loving home and adult protection. These same factors often contribute to involvement in activities that ultimately put them in the juvenile justice
system. A comprehensive approach to preventing trafficking of girls in the U.S. as well as at-risk girls’ involvement in the juvenile justice system must include effective prevention and early intervention strategies. We know which girls are at risk and therefore
must empower them before they became entangled within the justice system or a victim of trafficking. 

We therefore ask that the Committee support the following request and $5 million in funding for programs that have already proven effective at keeping girls out of the hands of traffickers and out of the juvenile justice system.

Please join us in supporting funding to keep more girls safe and away from traffickers. If you would like to cosign this request, fill
out this form
; if you have any questions, please contact Mike Viggiano in my office at
Michael.viggiano@mail.house.gov Please see request letter and proposed language below.
 
Sincerely,
 

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

 

LETTER TEXT:

Dear Chairman Serrano and Ranking Member Aderholt:

Thank you for your past support of programs to combat and prevent human trafficking through the United States Department of Justice. As you begin work on the FY 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, we respectfully request
language to support the expansion of prevention and early intervention programs for girls who statistically face a high risk of exploitation and abuse, including being trafficked and actions that result in their placement in the juvenile justice system.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the Department of Justice has identified several factors that put girls in the United States at an increased risk of becoming a victim of human trafficking. We know from its research that human
traffickers target the most vulnerable girls in our nation – girls who are desperate, impoverished, and often without a loving home and adult protection. These same factors often contribute to involvement in activities that ultimately put them in the juvenile
justice system. A comprehensive approach to preventing trafficking of girls in the U.S. as well as at-risk girls’ involvement in the juvenile justice system must include effective prevention and early intervention strategies. We know which girls are at risk
and therefore must empower them before they become entangled within the justice system or a victim of trafficking. 

We therefore respectfully request that the Committee include the following programmatic and report language requests in the FY 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill:

Preventing Trafficking of Girls and Girls’ Involvement in the Juvenile Justice System – According to the DOJ Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, girls in the United States with a history of sexual and physical abuse, school failure,
substance dependency, and involvement in the welfare system, and who live in impoverished communities or are homeless, are at an increased risk of becoming victims of domestic trafficking or involved in activities that lead to entrance into the juvenile justice
system.

The Committee directs the DOJ Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to establish a grant for nonprofits and other nongovernmental entities that have undergone rigorous evaluation and have a successful track record of administering research-based
prevention and early intervention programs for girls who are vulnerable to trafficking and are most likely to end up in the juvenile justice system, at a state level, to scale up and replicate these programs. This expansion will bolster prevention and early
intervention strategies and curricula throughout the country, and place vulnerable girls on a path toward success, stability, and long-term contribution to our society. The Committee provides $5 million for this initiative which is intended to go toward early
intervention programs, separate and distinct from law enforcement efforts.

We recognize the constraints by which the Subcommittee is bound. As always, we appreciate your consideration of our request and we look forward to working with you as the FY 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill takes
shape.

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Selected legislative information:Appropriations, Civil Rights, Education, Family Issues, Judiciary

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