Pennsylvania Governor Ridge Calls on Lawmakers to Make Youth-Violence Prevention Permanent Mission of State Government

Urges General Assembly to Ensure Violence-Prevention

Efforts of Children's Partnership Continue



Apr 27, 2001, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

    LANCASTER, Pa., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Calling it an indispensable step
 to improve the lives and futures of Pennsylvania's children, PA Gov. Tom Ridge
 today urged the General Assembly to pass legislation that ensures the
 youth-violence prevention efforts of the Governor's Community Partnership for
 Safe Children (Children's Partnership) become a permanent mission of state
 government.
     "The old adage `an ounce of prevention leads to a pound of cure' was never
 more true," Gov. Ridge told hundreds of school counselors gathered for a
 statewide conference in Lancaster, joined by First Lady Michele Ridge who
 chairs the Children's Partnership.  "In Pennsylvania, we've proven that
 prevention works.  Now, we need to make sure that our focus on prevention is
 never neglected in the future.  We need the General Assembly to pass this
 legislation to ensure that our work over the last six years -- to reduce
 violence committed by and against Pennsylvania's children and prevent crime
 -- becomes a permanent mission of state government.
     House Bill 1048, sponsored by Rep. Beverly Mackareth (R-York), amends the
 statutory authority of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency
 (PCCD) to specifically include among its responsibilities the Children's
 Partnership and also the successful Weed and Seed initiative, to ensure both
 initiatives continue.
     HB 1048 also:
 
    -- Expands PCCD's membership to include key players in the violence-
        prevention process, including the Secretary of Health, the Secretary
        of Public Welfare, the Secretary of Education, the Chairman of the
        Board of Probation and Parole, and the Executive Director of the
        Juvenile Court Judges' Commission;
    -- Expands the duties of PCCD's Juvenile Advisory Committee, which guides
        juvenile justice policy and practices.  The new Juvenile Justice and
        Delinquency Prevention Committee will blend juvenile justice with
        delinquency prevention, and will advise PCCD on programs, policies and
        practices that reduce youth violence and promote the healthy
        development of children;
    -- Continues development and promotion of comprehensive, community-based
        violence-prevention plans, such as those already underway in the
        Children's Partnership's Communities That Care initiatives; and
    -- Continues development and promotion of comprehensive, targeted crime
        prevention efforts and a planning process for the revitalization of
        high-crime and distressed communities, such as those already underway
        with Weed and Seed.
 
     Gov. Ridge praised Rep. Mackareth for sponsoring HB 1048 and for her
 efforts to guide the legislation through the General Assembly.
     "As the former Deputy Director of the Children's Partnership, she
 understands that the violence-prevention strategies supported by the
 Children's Partnership offer a new way of thinking about how families, schools
 and communities assess the risks facing our children, and comprehensive,
 research-based solutions to help our kids become healthy, productive adults,"
 Gov. Ridge said.
     "Just as we have used research, science and public education to learn more
 about factors affecting our health, so, too, have our prevention strategies
 used the latest in research to guide communities to identify problem behaviors
 during adolescence, such as school dropouts, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol
 use, delinquency, and violence."
     Gov. Ridge praised four students from the La Academia Charter School in
 Lancaster for their work through Communities That Care to improve their school
 and their communities.
     "These young men and women enthusiastically have worked to reduce violence
 in their communities," Gov. Ridge said.  "In words and deeds, all of them are
 leaders.  And their efforts are helping to build stronger communities and
 create a brighter future."
     Gov. Ridge established the Children's Partnership in 1995 to reduce
 violence committed by and against Pennsylvania children.  He appointed Mrs.
 Ridge to chair the partnership.
     "Through our work with literally thousands of Pennsylvanians across the
 state, we found that, when given the tools and the opportunity to make a
 difference in their communities, Pennsylvanians willingly step up to the plate
 to get the job done," Mrs. Ridge said.
     "Look how far we've come.  Today, we have mentors of all walks of life
 working with kids who have no one special in their lives to provide hope and
 opportunity."
     CTC is a national violence-prevention process that was developed by Dr. J.
 David Hawkins and Dr. Richard Catalano, social scientists at the University of
 Washington.  Drs. Catalano and Hawkins synthesized 40 years of prevention
 research and identified 19 risk factors that, when present in the lives of
 children, can lead to violence and delinquency.  These risks include the
 availability of drugs and weapons, family conflict, academic failure, economic
 deprivation, alienation, and peer pressure.
     Currently, there are 107 CTC sites in 55 counties across Pennsylvania.
 Gov. Ridge has pledged to expand CTC to all 67 counties.
     "Through the Children's Partnership, young people across the state are
 participating in programs, including substance abuse and anti-smoking
 education, after-school activities, bullying prevention, life-skills
 development, parenting education, family counseling, home visitation by nurses
 to at-risk families, and mentoring," Mrs. Ridge said.
     The Ridge Administration so far has invested more than $30 million for the
 Communities That Care initiative and research-based delinquency-prevention
 programs.
     Launched by Gov. Ridge in 1996, and led by Lt. Gov. Mark Schweiker,
 Pennsylvania's Weed and Seed initiative is a two-pronged strategy to "weed"
 out violent offenders via intensive law-enforcement and prosecution efforts,
 and to "seed" neighborhoods through revitalization and training projects.
     Weed and Seed works because it requires community members to form a team
 to draft a revitalization plan detailing community needs to solve problems
 dealing with crime, education, public health and housing.  Funding only goes
 for projects that are part of the community-revitalization plan and for which
 there is a demonstrated need.  As part of the process, a community must prove
 a need for the program and demonstrate that no other community initiative is
 doing the same action it proposes.
     The Ridge Administration has provided approximately $10.5 million to five
 Weed and Seed sites across the Commonwealth.  The cities of Lancaster, York,
 Easton, Norristown and Chester participate in Pennsylvania Weed and Seed, the
 only state-sponsored program of its kind in the nation.
 
     CONTACT:  Kevin Shivers, Deputy Press Secretary, 717-783-1116, or Alison
 Delsite, 717-705-0888, ext. 3002, both of the Pennsylvania Office of the
 Governor.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X73268987
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
    LANCASTER, Pa., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Calling it an indispensable step
 to improve the lives and futures of Pennsylvania's children, PA Gov. Tom Ridge
 today urged the General Assembly to pass legislation that ensures the
 youth-violence prevention efforts of the Governor's Community Partnership for
 Safe Children (Children's Partnership) become a permanent mission of state
 government.
     "The old adage `an ounce of prevention leads to a pound of cure' was never
 more true," Gov. Ridge told hundreds of school counselors gathered for a
 statewide conference in Lancaster, joined by First Lady Michele Ridge who
 chairs the Children's Partnership.  "In Pennsylvania, we've proven that
 prevention works.  Now, we need to make sure that our focus on prevention is
 never neglected in the future.  We need the General Assembly to pass this
 legislation to ensure that our work over the last six years -- to reduce
 violence committed by and against Pennsylvania's children and prevent crime
 -- becomes a permanent mission of state government.
     House Bill 1048, sponsored by Rep. Beverly Mackareth (R-York), amends the
 statutory authority of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency
 (PCCD) to specifically include among its responsibilities the Children's
 Partnership and also the successful Weed and Seed initiative, to ensure both
 initiatives continue.
     HB 1048 also:
 
    -- Expands PCCD's membership to include key players in the violence-
        prevention process, including the Secretary of Health, the Secretary
        of Public Welfare, the Secretary of Education, the Chairman of the
        Board of Probation and Parole, and the Executive Director of the
        Juvenile Court Judges' Commission;
    -- Expands the duties of PCCD's Juvenile Advisory Committee, which guides
        juvenile justice policy and practices.  The new Juvenile Justice and
        Delinquency Prevention Committee will blend juvenile justice with
        delinquency prevention, and will advise PCCD on programs, policies and
        practices that reduce youth violence and promote the healthy
        development of children;
    -- Continues development and promotion of comprehensive, community-based
        violence-prevention plans, such as those already underway in the
        Children's Partnership's Communities That Care initiatives; and
    -- Continues development and promotion of comprehensive, targeted crime
        prevention efforts and a planning process for the revitalization of
        high-crime and distressed communities, such as those already underway
        with Weed and Seed.
 
     Gov. Ridge praised Rep. Mackareth for sponsoring HB 1048 and for her
 efforts to guide the legislation through the General Assembly.
     "As the former Deputy Director of the Children's Partnership, she
 understands that the violence-prevention strategies supported by the
 Children's Partnership offer a new way of thinking about how families, schools
 and communities assess the risks facing our children, and comprehensive,
 research-based solutions to help our kids become healthy, productive adults,"
 Gov. Ridge said.
     "Just as we have used research, science and public education to learn more
 about factors affecting our health, so, too, have our prevention strategies
 used the latest in research to guide communities to identify problem behaviors
 during adolescence, such as school dropouts, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol
 use, delinquency, and violence."
     Gov. Ridge praised four students from the La Academia Charter School in
 Lancaster for their work through Communities That Care to improve their school
 and their communities.
     "These young men and women enthusiastically have worked to reduce violence
 in their communities," Gov. Ridge said.  "In words and deeds, all of them are
 leaders.  And their efforts are helping to build stronger communities and
 create a brighter future."
     Gov. Ridge established the Children's Partnership in 1995 to reduce
 violence committed by and against Pennsylvania children.  He appointed Mrs.
 Ridge to chair the partnership.
     "Through our work with literally thousands of Pennsylvanians across the
 state, we found that, when given the tools and the opportunity to make a
 difference in their communities, Pennsylvanians willingly step up to the plate
 to get the job done," Mrs. Ridge said.
     "Look how far we've come.  Today, we have mentors of all walks of life
 working with kids who have no one special in their lives to provide hope and
 opportunity."
     CTC is a national violence-prevention process that was developed by Dr. J.
 David Hawkins and Dr. Richard Catalano, social scientists at the University of
 Washington.  Drs. Catalano and Hawkins synthesized 40 years of prevention
 research and identified 19 risk factors that, when present in the lives of
 children, can lead to violence and delinquency.  These risks include the
 availability of drugs and weapons, family conflict, academic failure, economic
 deprivation, alienation, and peer pressure.
     Currently, there are 107 CTC sites in 55 counties across Pennsylvania.
 Gov. Ridge has pledged to expand CTC to all 67 counties.
     "Through the Children's Partnership, young people across the state are
 participating in programs, including substance abuse and anti-smoking
 education, after-school activities, bullying prevention, life-skills
 development, parenting education, family counseling, home visitation by nurses
 to at-risk families, and mentoring," Mrs. Ridge said.
     The Ridge Administration so far has invested more than $30 million for the
 Communities That Care initiative and research-based delinquency-prevention
 programs.
     Launched by Gov. Ridge in 1996, and led by Lt. Gov. Mark Schweiker,
 Pennsylvania's Weed and Seed initiative is a two-pronged strategy to "weed"
 out violent offenders via intensive law-enforcement and prosecution efforts,
 and to "seed" neighborhoods through revitalization and training projects.
     Weed and Seed works because it requires community members to form a team
 to draft a revitalization plan detailing community needs to solve problems
 dealing with crime, education, public health and housing.  Funding only goes
 for projects that are part of the community-revitalization plan and for which
 there is a demonstrated need.  As part of the process, a community must prove
 a need for the program and demonstrate that no other community initiative is
 doing the same action it proposes.
     The Ridge Administration has provided approximately $10.5 million to five
 Weed and Seed sites across the Commonwealth.  The cities of Lancaster, York,
 Easton, Norristown and Chester participate in Pennsylvania Weed and Seed, the
 only state-sponsored program of its kind in the nation.
 
     CONTACT:  Kevin Shivers, Deputy Press Secretary, 717-783-1116, or Alison
 Delsite, 717-705-0888, ext. 3002, both of the Pennsylvania Office of the
 Governor.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X73268987
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Office of the Governor