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07/21/2024 07:34 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=42056
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 2, 2024 12:07 PM
From: Representative Emily Kinkead
To: All House members
Subject: Allowing Justice-Involved Youth to Participate in Restaurant-Based Mentorship Program
 
On any given day in the United States, there are more than 50,000 young people under the age of 21 being held in detention facilities.  Unfortunately, studies have shown that over half of these offenders will be rearrested within a year of release, and as many as 40% of them will end up in prison by the age of 25. In order to reduce these recidivism rates, we need to ensure that young Pennsylvanians have the tools to thrive.
 
While there are myriad ways to help justice-involved young people to become contributing members of their communities, one model that has proven effective in other states is educational programming designed to provide culinary and life skills, together with support services, to minors involved in the criminal justice system in a fine dining restaurant environment. At these restaurants, juveniles are given case management and internships that allow them to rotate through all aspects of the restaurant, focusing on life and social skills development. The interns can then be placed in jobs at community partner organizations upon completion of the program. This combination of juvenile rehabilitation, workforce training, and fine dining offers a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between vulnerable minors and their community. I am proud that Pittsburgh is now home to Café Momentum as the first satellite location outside of Texas of this incredibly successful program.
 
However, in order to bring this restaurant and rehabilitation model successfully to Pennsylvania, we must amend the Liquor Code and the Child Labor Act to allow such a non-profit organization to employ minors as young as 15 in an establishment that serves alcohol, just as ski resorts, golf courses, and amusement parks can. These workers would be prohibited from serving or dispensing alcohol while still being able to gain valuable life and employment skills. The legislation will be specific to Allegheny County and will not change the law in any other county. It is well-established that early intervention is the key to helping young people avoid ending up deeper in the criminal justice system and so it is essential to allow 15-year-olds to participate in these programs. They work in Texas. They can work in Pennsylvania.
 
Accordingly, I will be introducing a package of legislation to allow non-profit restaurants in Allegheny County to employ minors in this manner and ask you to please join me in giving our young residents the opportunity to serve their communities and reach their full potential. These bills are companion legislation to SB 349. Thank you for your consideration.
 
 



Document #1

Introduced as HB2050

Description: This bill would amend the Liquor Code to add non-profit organizations operating in counties of the second class that are engaged in educational programming designed to provide culinary and life skills, together with support services, for minors involved in the criminal justice system in a fine dining restaurant environment to the list of establishments that serve alcohol allowed to employ minors aged 15 and up.
 
 

Document #2

Introduced as HB2051

Description: This bill would amend the Child Labor Act to allow minors aged 15 years or older to be employed by a non-profit organizations operating in counties of the second class that are engaged in educational programming designed to provide culinary and life skills, together with support services, for minors involved in the criminal justice system in a fine dining restaurant environment.