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The Arts in Juvenile Justice
According to the National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) longitudinal study--The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth-- at-risk students who have access to the arts in or out of school also tend to have better academic results, better workforce opportunities, higher career goals, and more civic engagement.

As Congress moves to fund the newly reauthorized Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), we urge members to recognize the transformative potential of the arts as a partner in juvenile justice reform efforts.

There are many points of possible engagement with the arts across the entire juvenile justice system, ranging from prevention to high-quality arts education for youth in state secure facilities, to the use of arts programs as an alternative to sentencing, and to support successful re-entry into communities.

In May 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives included instructions for the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) to collaborate with the NEA and arts stakeholders to “explore the use of arts-based programs and rigorously evaluate their impact on outcomes for at-risk, justice-involved, and traumatized youths.” 

However, in order for these instructions to be enacted, the U.S. Senate must also agree to this language.

Will you take two minutes now to contact your U.S. Senators and ask them to support the House-approved provision?  New funding to support, expand, and evaluate the ongoing efforts nationwide is a valuable use of public resources.
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