PRESS RELEASE

Rep. Michael Capuano Files Legislation to Assist Young Witnesses

April 11, 2003 -- Today Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-MA) refiled the "Young Witness Assistance Act" to establish a grant program for young witness assistance initiatives.

"All too often, we hear stories about young people who are harassed and even harmed because they are willing to speak out about a crime. State and local authorities should have the tools they need to assist young people who try to do the right thing. My legislation will provide officials with the funding necessary to do just that," stated Rep. Capuano.

Rep. Capuano's bill, filed during National Crime Victims Week, establishes a separate, permanent grant program at the Department of Justice for state and local juvenile witness assistance programs. The bill:

"We must support our young people who take a courageous stand against violent crime in their communities. States and municipalities cannot do it alone. This legislation will create a funding mechanism to help officials establish effective programs," Rep. Capuano stated.

Twelve of Congressman Capuano's colleagues are co-sponsoring the legislation, which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

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Contact: Alison M. Mills (617) 621-6208