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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.

Is 2018 the Year of Women in Politics?

Jill Ward Tuesday, 29 May 2018 Posted in 2018, Voices

By Jill Ward, Senior Advocacy Consultant, Youth First Initiative

“We're half the people; we should be half the Congress.” - Jeannette Rankin of Montana, first woman to hold federal office in the United States

That was the vision of the first woman elected to Congress in 1916, four years before the 19th amendment secured (white) women’s right to vote and another 45 years before African American men and women were able to exercise their right to vote.

This Is America: Can it be the Year to #VoteYouthJustice?

Aprill O. Turner Wednesday, 16 May 2018 Posted in Across the Country

By Aprill O. Turner, Communications Director

2018 has already been another year of tension in cities across the country between police officers and young black males.

The headlines of these incidents never seem to cease. In March, officers in Sacramento, Calif., opened fired and killed Stephon Clark for standing in his own backyard holding a cellphone. Then in April, Brooklyn police officers shot and killed Saheed Vassel, an unarmed black man with mental disabilities when they mistakenly mistook the pipe he was holding for a gun.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Uplifting the Narratives of Incarcerated Youth

Rachel Marshall Tuesday, 24 April 2018 Posted in 2018, Voices

By Rachel Marshall, Federal Policy Counsel

As someone who works on juvenile justice reform, it comes as no surprise that the sexual assault of incarcerated youth, particularly youth in adult jails and prisons, runs rampant. A quick scan of news stories yields alarming results. Recently, sexual abuse scandals in juvenile facilities in Texas and Wisconsin have been making both national and local headlines. And who can forget the eye-opening report from the Huffington Post in 2016, Cruel and All Too Unusual, that revealed the horrific abuse faced by youth in adult facilities in Michigan. Then there are the stories dating back five to ten years ago, like the ProPublica story headline that reads, “Sexual abuse on the rise at U.S. juvenile detention facilities” from 2013 (3 years later they published another piece titled “Why Are Rates of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Detention Facilities on the Rise?”).

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.

Justice for All

Rachel Marshall Thursday, 12 April 2018 Posted in Voices

By Rachell Marshall, Federal Policy Counsel

From the federal level to state legislatures across the country, criminal justice reform measures are a hot topic of conversation and proposed legislation. What is often lost in those conversations are the views and voices of victims. As an organization that fights to end the prosecution, sentencing, and incarceration of children in the adult system, we are all too aware that children are often times victims of crime and exposed to trauma before they ever get arrested. One young man who was 15 when he began an 8-year sentence in an adult prison for a carjacking said, “It never occurred to me to carry a gun, or use it against someone until someone stuck a gun in my face.” We know that children who come in contact with the justice system have higher rates of exposure to trauma and violence than children who aren’t in contact with the system. We also know that some victims experience trauma not only after a crime has been committed, but also after their experience with the justice system. Further, we know that in many cases, crimes of violence are perpetrated against family members or members of our community--so limiting our response to victims to a carceral one only often does more harm than good. It’s time to take a new, holistic approach to restoring justice and healing in our communities, one that yields outcomes that reduce future offending, not just punishment.

Our Drum Major for Justice Beats On Through His Legacy

Marcy Mistrett Wednesday, 04 April 2018 Posted in Uncategorised

By Marcy Mistrett, CEO

In the five decades since Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, U.S. families, advocates, and youth continue his legacy for justice, specifically targeting criminal justice reform.

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