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65° Good Afternoon

Letter: Bill would deter youthful violence

Prison cell.

Prison cell. Credit: AFP / Getty Images

Your editorial, "Prison reforms good for New York" [March 14], shows a welcome trend toward more restorative justice programs, especially for youthful offenders.

Increasing the range of proven alternatives to our nation's mass incarceration of over 2 million human beings, many for non-violent crimes, is long overdue. It saves money and young lives.

Bipartisan federal legislation is being introduced this spring called the Youth PROMISE Act -- Youth Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education Act. If passed, it would implement and fund evidence-based practices related to juvenile justice and criminal gang activity, including violence prevention, drug treatment and support programs overseen by state-level PROMISE advisory panels.

This legislation is endorsed by the National Conference of Mayors and many other community organizations. Let's hope that Congress will pass this common-sense legislation.

Thomas Lyon, Mount Sinai

Editor's note: The writer is a team leader for the Peace Alliance Action Team of Long Island, which advocates against crime and violence.