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Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM) is Only Two Months Away!

Angella Bellota Wednesday, 24 July 2013 Posted in 2013, Across the Country, Campaigns


During the month of October, allies throughout the country come together to engage their communities on youth justice issues, particularly the harmful impact of prosecuting children in the adult criminal justice system.  

Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM) is an opportunity for families, youth, and allies to host community-led actions and events that expose the real-life consequences of children being processed in adult court and placed in adult jails and prisons. With events happening throughout the country, YJAM is not only a time to raise awareness but also a time to build collective action, to strengthen relationships with other advocates, and to join local advocacy campaigns working to create policy changes.

Every year in the U.S. an estimated 250,000 youth are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated as adults. These young people are our friends, siblings, sons and daughters. Each year, we build momentum to end the criminalization of our youth and the devastating long-term consequences they must face every day.

Will you join us in taking a stand for youth justice?  In past years, YJAM events have included:

  • 5K Run/Walk
  • Film Screenings
  • Art Exhibits
  • Poetry Slams
  • Community Service Days
  • Social Media campaigns
  • Teach-In Days  


The Campaign for Youth Justice plans to host several calls with those interested in organizing events in their state. If you would like to participate in these calls, please contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Upcoming calls:

  • July 30th - Hosting a 5K Run/Walk  
  • August 5th - FUNdraising for YJAM
  • August 19th - Media Planning for YJAM


STAY CONNECTED:

For general questions about YJAM or if you would like to host, organize or participate in a YJAM event, please contact CFYJ Field Organizer Angella Bellota: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

For media inquiries, please contact CFYJ Communications & Media Director Aprill Turner: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

Please visit our YJAM page to learn about the history of YJAM and for a roundup of upcoming events! 

Jonathan’s Law Unanimously Clears Legislative Hurdle in Missouri

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 Posted in 2013, Campaigns

Yesterday the Missouri State Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed, “Jonathan’s Law”, a bill requiring judges to consider giving minors who have been convicted as adults, a juvenile sentence, and requiring an explanation why if they do not.

Jonathan's Law is in remembrance of Jonathan McClard, who committed suicide in an adult facility at the age of 17--fearing he would be sentenced to a long prison term with adults.

Jonathan's mother, Tracy McClard is the founder of Families and Friends Organized to Reform JuvenileJustice (FORJ-MO). McClard has been a champion for the legislation and says its passage could prevent future tragedies like what happened to her son.

“I am very excited by the support for juvenile justice reform we are receiving from Missouri's state capitol,” said McClard. “The fact that Jonathan's Law passed the senate judiciary committee with a unanimous vote speaks to the great desire to bring our children out of the adult system and once again treat our youth as children and not adults.”

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