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2018

Free Your Mind with Free Minds: A CFYJ Summer Speaker Series Event

Jasmine Awad Tuesday, 24 July 2018 Posted in 2018, Voices

By Jasmine Awad, Policy and Legal Fellow

“Before Free Minds, I didn’t know how to read.”  

The Campaign for Youth Justice recently kicked off their 2018 Summer Speaker Series by hosting a “Write Lunch”, a tailored version of Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop’s Write Night,” where community volunteers gather alongside Free Minds Poet Ambassadors home from prison to provide feedback on the writing of Book Club members who are still incarcerated.

Wisconsin’s Next Governor: A Youth Justice Champion?

Michelle Hannemann Monday, 23 July 2018 Posted in 2018, Across the Country

By Michelle Hannemann, CFYJ Spokesperson

There are many parents in the state of Wisconsinbut not many can say they are the mother of a felon that was charged as an adult for a crime he committed when he was a 14-year-old child. Clearly this is nothing to be proud of; however, I can be proud of how our son has evolved and overcome our state justice system’s tragic decision to treat him like an adult when he was a child. Speaking from experience, I never want another parent to have to endure the hopeless and overwhelming feelings of fear I continually feltnot knowing what was going to happen to my son. Sadly, our worst fears came true and our son was sent to prison. This does not need to happen to a child you love and care for. No one ever thinks it is going to be their child, grandchild, niece, nephew, friend’s child, etc., but it can happen!  Children will continue to make bad decisions at times in their lives as they are learning and developing through life. Do they need consequences? ABSOLUTELY! But adult jails and prisons are no place for a child.

Racial Wealth Gap to Racial Equity in Youth Justice

Benedict Roemer Thursday, 19 July 2018 Posted in 2018, Voices

By Benedict Roemer, State Campaigns and Public Interest Communications Fellow

As evidenced by our country’s treatment of immigrant families at the border, the disproportionate incarceration of black and brown youth, and policies targeting communities of color here and abroad, the United States has continued its harmful and oppressive track record with people of color. And while the treatment of immigrants is a very visible testament to this reality, racial disparities continue to exist elsewhere as well. One area in particular is the racial wealth gap between communities of color and white communities in the United States. The racial wealth gap currently stands at a startling 13:1 differential among all households: The median net worth for a white household is $141,000, while the median  net worth of a black household is  only $11,000 per year. This divide in wealth is even greater for households living near the poverty line. For these households, the difference in median net worth is $18,000 vs. $0. Such a wide income and wealth gap leads to countless other disparities; in poverty, education, health, and incarceration.

Fighting to Prevent LGBTQ+ Erasure by the Department of Justice

Harmeet Kamboj Tuesday, 26 June 2018 Posted in 2018, Federal Update

By Harmeet Kamboj, Communications Associate

June is Pride Month, a time during which the LGBTQ+ community celebrates an array of identities that have long been rejected by mainstream culture and politics. But while rainbow flags fly across the country, LGBTQ+ people face increasing erasure as the Trump administration takes strategic steps to hinder data collection for and about this community. Most recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has made initial efforts to revise portions of the National Crime Victimization Survey by eliminating questions about gender identity and sexual orientation among 16- and 17-year-olds surveyed by the department.

Torture By Another Name: The Use of Solitary Confinement on Youth and Young Adults in New Jersey Prisons

Duvall Ricks and David Crosby Tuesday, 26 June 2018 Posted in 2018, Campaigns

By Duvall Ricks and David Crosby, New Jersey Youth Caucus

In 2011, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture deemed the use of solitary confinement against youth and individuals with mental health disabilities as torture.  For three years, I saw and experienced firsthand the impact of solitary on youth and young adults in adult jails and prisons. I watched fellow inmates crumble under the conditions of solitary.  Some committed suicide.  Others experienced severe depression and anger.  No one walks out of that experience feeling whole or somehow better than they were going in.

It’s Complicated: The U.S. and the International Human Rights of Children

Brian Evans Thursday, 21 June 2018 Posted in 2018, Voices

By Brian Evans, State Campaigns Director

Almost 1,000 participants gathered in Paris, France at the end of May for the World Congress on Justice for Children, a global conference of youth justice professionals and advocates. The conference, organized by several European and international groups, was built thematically around the issue of children involved in “violent extremism” (no doubt a significant concern), but the workshops and conversations in the hallways and courtyards of the UNESCO House were much broader in scope.

Get Your Candidates Talking About Youth Justice

Rachel Marshall Wednesday, 20 June 2018 Posted in 2018, Across the Country

By Rachel Marshall, Federal Policy Counsel

We’re a little less than 5 months away from 2018’s crucial midterm elections, but before we can get there, states across the country are voting in packed primary elections. Here at the Campaign for Youth Justice, we’re using this opportunity to make sure local communities are getting out to vote and getting their local candidates to talk about youth justice. That’s why we were thrilled to hear Pod Save the People host DeRay McKesson talk to two out of the three candidates for Baltimore State’s Attorney on a recent episode  of the podcast ahead of Maryland’s June 26 primary election (he invited all three candidates, but the third candidate did not respond).

At the Border: Scapegoating Immigrant Youth is Not the Answer to Ending Gang Violence

Rachel Marshall Tuesday, 19 June 2018 Posted in 2018, Federal Update

By Rachel Marshall, Federal Policy Counsel

Animals.” “Menace.” “Blood-stained killing fields.” These are all terms President Donald Trump used in a one-week period to describe undocumented immigrants, alleged members of MS-13 and the purported harm they are causing our country. The White House doubled down on these assertions by releasing an official statement titled, “What You Need to Know About the Violent Animals of MS-13.”

Meet CFYJ’s 2018 Summer Fellows!

Thursday, 14 June 2018 Posted in 2018, Uncategorised

It’s finally June, which means our summer fellows have joined us here in Washington, D.C. from all over the country to help advance justice for young people. Learn more about their backgrounds and aspirations.

Paternal Incarceration: How the Mass Incarceration of Fathers Hurts our Youth

Benedict Roemer Tuesday, 12 June 2018 Posted in 2018, Uncategorised

By Benedict Roemer, Public Interest Communications and State Campaigns Fellow

Youth justice is all about looking at the bigger picture. We understand that children thrive when they are raised in the context of their families and communities. Yet, more than 1.5 million children lack access to their fathers, due to the mass incarceration of, particularly, men of color.  This is especially damaging to children of color, as recent research by the National Center for Health Statistics has shown that Black fathers, regardless of their marital status, are more involved in their children’s lives than any other demographic.  So, as Father’s Day approaches, let’s remember all the reasons the world needs dads at home with their children, not in prison.

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