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Federal Update

Families Belong Together: The U.S. Has a Long History of Removing Children From Families

Rachel Marshall Friday, 13 July 2018 Posted in Federal Update

Children Don’t Belong in Cages, They Belong in Communities

By Rachel Marshall, Federal Policy Counsel

For the past 15 years, research has shown that when children are separated from their families there are lifelong negative consequences. The stress children experience when separated from their families can lead to an increased risk of numerous diseases, depression, substance abuse, and early mortality. Despite this knowledge, more than 2,000 children, including breastfeeding babies and toddlers, have been forcibly removed from the care of their parents.

The “Families Belong Together” Movement

Uyen Nguyen Tuesday, 10 July 2018 Posted in Federal Update

By Uyen Nguyen, Operations and Development Fellow

“Families Belong Together” is the movement responding to the current administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that separates undocumented children from their parents at the U.S.– Mexico border. Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the “zero-tolerance” approach toward undocumented immigrants, the U.S. government has separated at least 2,000 children from their parents.

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.

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.”

Giving Young People the Second Chance They Deserve

Harmeet Kamboj Wednesday, 18 April 2018 Posted in 2018, Federal Update

By Harmeet Kamboj, Communications Associate

Earlier this month, President Trump signed a presidential proclamation declaring April “Second Chance Month.” This proclamation follows a 2017 bipartisan Senate resolution that called on Americans to “observe Second Chance Month through actions and programs that promote awareness of collateral consequences; and provide closure for individuals who have paid their debts.” After incarcerated people serve their sentences and leave the justice system, their past continues to haunt them by making education, employment, and housing nearly impossible to attain. This month – and always – we must do our due diligence to provide currently and formerly incarcerated Americans with a second chance to build stable and fulfilling lives as productive members of society.

You Have Shown Your Love for Children

Marcy Mistrett Wednesday, 14 February 2018 Posted in 2018, Federal Update

By Marcy Mistrett, CEO

Thank you for showing your love for our children! In celebration of Valentine’s Day, CFYJ is joining the Act-4-JJ Coalition to deliver 535 candy bars to Congress, to encourage them to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).

The State of Youth Justice

Rachel Marshall Monday, 29 January 2018 Posted in 2018, Federal Update

By Rachel Marshall, Federal Policy Counsel

Today is President Trump’s first State of the Union address. As he prepares to address the nation and outline his priorities for the year, we thought it fruitful to write our own “State of Youth Justice” address.

After 14 Years, More Progress Still Needed on Prison Rape Elimination Act

Friday, 01 September 2017 Posted in 2017, Federal Update

By Rachel Marshall, Federal Policy Counsel

Today marks the 14th anniversary of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003, a federal statute focused on sexual assault and victimization in juvenile facilities, adult prisons, jails, lockups, and other detention facilities. In 2012, the regulations for implementation of the law were finalized and issued. One of the most critical components of the regulations is Section 115.14, the Youthful Inmate Standard, which requires agencies to avoid using isolation on youth in adult facilities in order to comply with requirements to house and keep youth and adults separate in adult facilities. A state that does not comply with the Youthful Inmate Standard and other requirements of PREA must use five percent of its designated prison funding from the Department of Justice to come into compliance with the statute.

Voices Elevate to Advance Juvenile Justice Reform

Wednesday, 05 July 2017 Posted in 2017, Federal Update

By Marcy Mistrett, CEO, and Abby McNeal, Juvenile Justice Fellow


Juvenile justice is perhaps one of the only political issues that continues to see strong bipartisan support from Congress. This trend was continued once again last month at the House Judiciary Sub Committee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations held a hearing on juvenile justice reform in the modern era. This hearing comes weeks after the House passed the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) worked with her Republican Sub-Committee members to organize a hearing that prioritized juvenile justice as a critical component to criminal justice reform overall; focusing on successful alternatives to incarceration and the work that still needs to be accomplished around the treatment of youth who remain confined.

How the House’s American Health Care Act bill Threatens Youth Justice Reform

Thursday, 22 June 2017 Posted in 2017, Federal Update

By Marcy Mistrett, CEO

While the Senate will debate their healthcare bill early next week, concerns have already risen with the incredibly cruel health care reform bill narrowly passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month, along solid party lines.  The depth of the damage isn’t yet known, as the House voted on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) without hearings, without a CBO score, amidst threats from the Administration….but early estimates predict that as many as 24 million people are going to lose their healthcare benefits (more than half of whom are on Medicaid).      

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