We offer this advocacy campaign against Lowering Criminal Liability (LCL) as our gift to the young at Don Bosco's Feast. "These boys (in prison) are not bad. Take care of them before they fall into crime-that is your task". Don Bosco felt in his heart the call of God thus was born his Educational System called the Preventive System of Don Bosco.
Letter to Senators
As Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, staff, volunteers, children, students & community recipients of Laura Vicuña Foundation reaching 15,000 to 20,000 each year, we would like to appeal to our dear Senators who still have to vote House Bill No. 8858 regarding the lowering of the age of criminal responsibility of the young population of this country. These children were not born bad. Some may become involved in high-risk or unacceptable behavior such as drug dependency, alcoholism, petty juvenile crime but you will agree with us that the quality of caring of their parents influences the familiar social environment. Poverty, lack of education and many other factors which are sometimes beyond their control have pushed them to be in conflict with the law. But they have the capacity to change given a program that may be appropriate to their normal development as adolescents.
This bill is anti-poor and a violation on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Lowering the age of criminality is really targeting the poor children. They commit petty juvenile offenses of theft and robbery due to poverty. These children in conflict with the law (CICL) are mere victims and should not punished but given a chance to rebuild their lives with a caring and protective environment. Another worry that we have is what the authorities will do to these children committing crimes. What is needed is the proper implementation of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act as well as stronger government support for their rehabilitation.
We do hope you will support our advocacy campaign. As what our founder Don Bosco did, he left to us his great love for God and a total spiritual and social commitment to the young. He left to us his preventive system which is based on reason, religion and loving kindness. Don Bosco believed there is a seed of goodness in every person and rejects any form of violent and thoughtless punishment. As what Pope Francis said, “Young people are not just our future, they are our today.
Thank you once again. We do hope in advance you will say NO to LOWERING the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR).
Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, LVF Staff, Volunteers, 20,000 Children and Youth Partners