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Youth Justice Community calls for Swift Action to Remove Youth from Secure Custody during the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Marcy Mistrett, CFYJ CEO Monday, 23 March 2020 Posted in 2020

By Marcy Mistrett, CFYJ CEO

Last week, the youth justice community called on governors, the federal government, local legislators, and juvenile justice department leaders to remove children from secure custody and reunite them with family members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendations for social distancing and frequent hand washing with soap and water, that are nearly impossible to implement in secure settingsalong with many local juvenile justice and correctional responses to end visitation and programming from external volunteers to slow the spread of COVID-19, youth in correctional settings remain at high risk of contracting the illness--particularly those youth with underlying medical conditions such as asthma, and immunosuppressive illnesses. Young people housed in adult facilities face particularly difficult conditions. Furthermore, as facilities decide to end in-person family visits, as schools close (including those in correctional settings), and volunteer programming is reduced or stopped—stressors on children in custody will increase. Communication on what protective measures are taking place in facilities and community supervision is essential and must be clear and frequent between juvenile justice staff, young people and families.  

Campaign for Youth Justice Update During the COVID-19 Crisis

Tuesday, 17 March 2020 Posted in 2020

The Campaign for Youth Justice is taking full precautionary measures in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As a result, our staff is currently teleworking and we have postponed all of our in-person meetings and events for the foreseeable future. The safety of our community is of the utmost importance to us. We will follow all health and safety guidelines set forth by local, state and national officials, and will take all measures to ensure our protocols align with those guidelines.

Team CFYJ is available to you as we continue our work of advocating for youth in the adult criminal justice system. We recognize the extraordinary burden this is placing on our families who have loved ones and children who are incarcerated. We are working with other youth justice advocates to collect data and monitor the well being of youth in custody and in supervision, and we are making recommendations for their safe return home.

Please do not hesitate to call or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. we will answer. We also encourage you to visit our blog and social channels during this time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for our latest updates on all things youth justice.

We again thank you for your understanding and your continued support of CFYJ as we closely monitor this situation, and will share updates and changes to our meeting and event schedule as soon as they are available.

A Look At District Attorney Races in Los Angeles, CA and Austin, TX

By Madeleine Susi, CFYJ Communications Fellow Friday, 13 March 2020 Posted in 2020

By Madeleine Susi, CFYJ Communications Fellow

Over the past few months, people throughout the nation have been looking to the media for the latest updates concerning the largest political race in the country: the presidential election. Voters in many states have already shown up to the polls to vote in the primaries, with the biggest turn out on Super Tuesday, where fourteen states awarded a total of 1,357 delegates. The total delegate count from Super Tuesday is still coming in, but currently, Biden has pulled ahead with a total of 566 delegates and 4.6 million votes.

It’s Not All Bad. Really …

By Brian Evans, CFYJ State Campaigns Director Friday, 13 March 2020 Posted in 2020

By Brian Evans, CFYJ State Campaigns Director

It’s not all bad. Really … 

For example, good legislation to reduce the number of children transferred to the adult court, or at least mitigate the harm caused by this practice, has started to move in state legislatures. Three state legislatures – in Utah, Virginia, and Washington – have passed good transfer reform bills just this week.

As with other issues, the Virginia General Assembly has been busy in this area. First, Virginia passed a bill giving children sentenced as adults eligibility for parole after 20 years (HB 35, signed into law). It has now also passed a bill to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for children charged as adults (HB 744) and, perhaps most significantly, legislation (HB 477/SB 546) that would raise to 16 the age at which a prosecutor could directly file adult charges.

New Address Alert: The Campaign for Youth Justice is Moving.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020 Posted in 2020

Dear Friends,

The Campaign for Youth Justice is moving and we will have a new address beginning Monday, March 2. Please retain it for your records:

Campaign for Youth Justice c/o Mindspace
1301 K Street NW, 300W
Washington, DC 20005

Our office phone number, website and social channels will remain the same.

We thank everyone for their continued support of CFYJ and with the move.

Sincerely,
The Campaign for Youth Justice 

Black History Month: Celebrating Community Champions of Youth Justice

By Marcy Mistrett, CEO Monday, 24 February 2020 Posted in 2020

In recognition of Black History Month, CFYJ will feature a month-long series that celebrates advocates, elected officials and spokespeople that are leading the charge to reform how youth are treated in the criminal justice system.

By Marcy Mistrett, CFYJ CEO

When it comes to the crusade for children, especially youth facing adult prosecution, African American advocates and families are leading the charge, and setting a new table for justice transformation. As the most racially disparate contact point that children of color have with the justice system, it makes sense that the many wins that end the adultification of children are being championed by communities of color. Black History Month gives us the opportunity to highlight a handful of these efforts. 

Black History Month: Legislative Leaders of Youth Justice Reform

By Rachel Marshall, CFYJ Federal Policy Counsel Friday, 14 February 2020 Posted in 2020

In recognition of Black History Month, CFYJ is featuring a month-long series that celebrates advocates, elected officials and spokespeople that are leading the charge to reform how youth are treated in the criminal justice system.

By Rachel Marshall, CFYJ Federal Policy Counsel

Throughout the last decade we have seen incredible progress in overturning laws that funnel youth into the adult criminal justice system and passing laws to reform our country’s approach for handling justice-involved youth. While youth justice advocates have worked tirelessly for these reforms, we couldn’t have done it without the support of key lawmakers and other elected officials.

Celebrating Ten Years of 'Raising the Age' in Connecticut

By Brian Evans, CFYJ State Campaigns Director Monday, 10 February 2020 Posted in 2020

By Brian Evans, CFYJ State Campaigns Director

Ten years ago, Connecticut took a giant step forward and “Raised the Age” of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 years of age. As one of only three states in the country that still considered all 16 and 17 year olds as adults, no matter how minor the charge, it was a radical notion for the state to make this shift. Passed in 2007 amid much concern and trepidation about its potential impact on juvenile crime and on the state’s budget, the law turned out to be a resounding success.

Black History Month: Leaders of the “Raise the Age” Movement

By Brian Evans, CFYJ State Campaigns Director Saturday, 08 February 2020 Posted in 2020

In recognition of Black History Month, CFYJ is featuring a month-long series that celebrates advocates, elected officials and spokespeople that are leading the charge to reform how youth are treated in the criminal justice system.

By Brian Evans, CFYJ State Campaigns Director

The most successful youth justice movement over the past decade, that has dramatically reduced the numbers of children charged as adults, has been the movement to “Raise the Age”. Prior to 2007, there were 14 states with laws that required all 17-year-olds (and in some cases 16-year-olds) to be charged as adults, regardless of their alleged offense. Now there are just three (Georgia, Texas, and Wisconsin).

Black History Month: Honoring The Voices of Youth Justice

By Aprill O. Turner, CFYJ Communications Director Monday, 03 February 2020 Posted in 2020

In recognition of Black History Month, CFYJ will feature a month-long series that celebrates advocates, elected officials and spokespeople that are leading the charge to reform how youth are treated in the criminal justice system.

By Aprill O. Turner, CFYJ Communications Director 

Black History Month is a time to celebrate and remember all the ways that African Americans have contributed to our history and culture. It is also a time to reflect on the ills that still plague us as a nation -- and to learn from the injustices and adversities the Black community has faced.

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