Youth PROMISE Act: Will Violence Prevent Bill Be in Obama Gun Plan?

Youth PROMISE Act in the gun plan? An interesting thing to look for is whether the President’s gun violence plan will include a comprehensive focus on violence prevention.

One popular piece of legislation that enjoyed major support in Congress in 2012, the Youth PROMISE Act ( (Youth Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education)  has been around for years and may be an option. It was created by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) who is a member of the special House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.  The special task force, which is chaired by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), met with Vice President Biden this week and is holding a hearing today on Capitol Hill.

The Youth PROMISE Act has been supported for the last several year by criminal justice advocatesincluding the Children’s Defense Fund, the Peace Alliance and, interestingly, 19 Republicans who became co-sponsors of the legislation during the 111th Congress before the 2010 elections gave GOP control of the House.

The legislation is well known by public policy advocates who focus on youth violence and gang related policy. Russell Simmons’ political director Michael Skolnik, who is also the editor-in-chief of, has been tweeting support for the legislation recently as well:

@MichaelSkolnik: 6. Pass Youth PROMISE Act: bill by @repbobbyscott (D-VA) that would fund holistic approaches to problems of communities in struggle.

As the Peace Alliance defines it, the legislation “gives communities support and funding to address youth violence issues by specifically focusing on violence prevention and intervention strategies.”

A major supporter of the legislation from California, Rep. Tony Cardenas was just elected to Congress in November.

When the legislation was making its way through Congress in 2009 and 2010, 19 Republicans signed on including Reps. Peter King, Chris Smith and Fred Upton. The bill has been viewed as a cost saver and an answer to over incarceration at a time when the U.S. leads the world in the number of people locked up.

Will any element of the legislation be in the President’s gun plan? We’ll know at noon.