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Remembering Youth in Adult Jails & Prisons During Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Jeree Thomas, Marion Humphrey, Jr., and Dana Abed Tuesday, 03 September 2019 Posted in 2019

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. During this month, we remember and mourn the over 47,000 Americans who commit suicide each year.  September is an opportunity to elevate important prevention strategies and support loved ones at risk of suicide. This month the Campaign for Youth Justice will elevate one prevention strategy for justice-involved youth which is to remove children under eighteen from adult jails and prisons across the country.

Youth Justice Reform at the Federal Level – Summer Update

Rachel Marshall, Federal Policy Counsel Wednesday, 28 August 2019 Posted in 2019

Congress’s summer break, known in D.C. as the “August recess,” is winding to an end, and a busy September awaits lawmakers when they return. Before they return, let’s take a look at the work the 116th Congress has accomplished for juvenile justice reform and related issues thus far:

Youth Justice Leaders Must Speak Out on the Border Crisis

By Rachel Marshall , CFYJ Federal Policy Counsel Thursday, 22 August 2019 Posted in Across the Country

By Rachel Marshall , CFYJ Federal Policy Counsel

As an organization that works to end the prosecution, sentencing, and incarceration of youth in the adult criminal justice system, every day my colleagues and I work to educate the public and policymakers on the horrors of subjecting our nation’s young people to the adult criminal justice system. Research shows that the placement of youth in adult facilities are at a higher risk of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. But even if youth remain in the juvenile justice system and are incarcerated in juvenile facilities, they are still at risk for abuse and irreversible trauma. Thanks to excellent investigative reporting, we know that incarcerated youth are too often subjected to horrific abuse at the hands of facility staff.

Legislative Victories 2019: Successful Bills Impacting Youth Prosecuted as Adults

Jeree Thomas, CFYJ Policy Director Thursday, 08 August 2019 Posted in 2019

In 2019, legislators across the country introduced over two hundred bills impacting youth prosecuted as adults. The Campaign for Youth Justice started tracking and publishing these bills in weekly updates archived here. The bills ranged from positive legislation to raise the age to eighteen in Michigan to negative legislation to lower the minimum age of mandatory transfer for certain offenses in Indiana.   Overall, youth, families, advocates, and legislative champions successfully passed a number of bills that will keep youth out of adult courts, jails and prisons.

What Does Safety in School Really Look Like?

CFYJ Research and Policy Fellow, Marion Humphrey Jr. Monday, 05 August 2019 Posted in 2019

On Thursday, July 25, 2019, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing titled “Examining State and Federal Recommendations for Enhancing School Safety Against Targeted Violence.”  Witnesses included Max Schachter, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Safe Schools for Alex; Tom Hoyer, Treasurer with Stand with Parkland - The National Association of Families for Safe Schools; The Honorable Bob Gualtieri, Chair of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission; Sheriff of Pinellas County, Florida; and Deborah Temkin, PH.D.,Senior Program Area Director, Education Child Trends.

When They See Us Viewing and Panel Discussions

Dana Abed Wednesday, 31 July 2019 Posted in 2019

Last week, The Campaign for Youth Justice hosted a private viewing followed by a panel discussion of the Netflix Original series, “When They See Us”, Part IV. The series, produced by Ava DuVernay, is nothing short of a moving portrayal of the injustices that young people of color face regularly in the justice system. The series of four parts tells the story of the Central Park Five, the five boys who were unjustly incarcerated for raping and attempting to murder a woman in Central Park.

What about our girls in the system?

Francine Kamara Monday, 29 July 2019 Posted in 2019

On July 16th, 2019, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security held a hearing to discuss women and girls in the criminal justice system. When discussing prison reform, the topic is usually centered around the experiences of  men. Unfortunately, we rarely hear from the women and girls who are incarcerated. At the hearing, formerly incarcerated women described their personal experiences in the system. Theses horrific accounts included abuse, lack of privacy, and harassment, among other things.

Fewer Arrests, Empty Facilities, and Solitary Confinement: New York’s Raise the Age Law after 9 Months

Brian Evans Tuesday, 16 July 2019 Posted in 2019

New York’s Raise the Age law has been in effect for 16-year-olds for over 9 months now (it goes into effect for 17-year-olds on October 1 of this year).  The results are (mostly) good, and in line with what we have seen in other states.

For example, in New York City, arrests of 16-year-olds, especially for misdemeanors such as “petit larceny, criminal possession of marijuana 5, assault 3, theft of services, criminal trespass 2 and 3, and criminal possession of a weapon 4” have dropped significantly. And facilities that were anticipated to hold large numbers of children are not even close to full.  According to one recent report: “a total of 171 beds are ready and waiting for youthful offenders but less than 12 percent have been filled.”

Check out CFYJ's Summer Reading List!

Monday, 15 July 2019 Posted in 2019

In time for summer reading, The Campaign for Youth Justice is proud to present its Summer Reading list. The lists consist of classics such as "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison to "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson, which will be coming out as a feature film in early 2020.

Whether planning to hit the beach this summer or lounge by the pool, please ensure the Campaign for Youth Justice's Summer Reading list makes your packing essentials, and help support authors committed to writing about and raising awareness about ending the practice of prosecuting, sentencing, and incarcerating youth under the age of 18 in the adult criminal justice system.

Additionally, please support our CFYJ bookstore on Amazon Prime Day. You can make a difference while you shop Amazon Prime Day deals on July 15 & 16  to add these insightful books from our recommended summer reading list. Shop here.

Freedom for Whom?

Dana Abed and Ashni Bhojwani, CFYJ Summer Fellows Wednesday, 03 July 2019 Posted in 2019

As the United States approaches its 243rd Independence Day, one reflects on who in our country is entitled to the freedoms of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” that are embedded into our Declaration of Independence?  Are we all truly seen as equals entitled to these unalienable rights? From the inception of U.S. Independence Day, it has been clear that only some Americans are granted such privileges. From the U.S. Constitution’s consideration of slaves to be 3/5 of a person, and the 13th amendment permitting enslavement for the incarcerated, it is clear that our founding fathers didn’t grant everyone freedom.

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