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The Prosecution of Black Youth as Adults

Jeree Thomas Thursday, 01 February 2018 Posted in 2018, Voices

By Jeree Thomas, Policy Director

During Black History Month, we remember the esteemed black heroes and heroines of American culture.  Those who saved our future through the Underground Railroad and those who gave their lives to take us to the mountaintop, but we must also remember the youth who represent just how far our country must go to reach its ideals.

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.

Major Updates on State-Level Legislation

Brian Evans Thursday, 25 January 2018 Posted in 2018, CFYJ Updates

By Brian Evans, State Campaigns Director

At the start of what promises to be a very political year, and in the midst of difficult debates about budgets and taxes, state legislators are moving forward (or in some cases backward) with legislation affecting youth in contact with the adult criminal justice system. The following is a legislative update of what is happening across the country:

The Women's March is Back: Time to Take Our Power to the Polls

Aprill O. Turner Friday, 19 January 2018 Posted in 2018, Voices

By Aprill O. Turner, Communications Director

On Jan. 21, 2017, the day after the inauguration of President Trump, the Women's March on Washington descended on the nation's capital to protest a new administration many Americans feared threatened their rights and contradicted their basic values.

MLK’s Dream – Half a Century Later, Bending Our Democracy Towards Justice

Marcy Mistrett Friday, 12 January 2018 Posted in 2018, Voices

By Marcy Mistrett, CEO

Fifty years ago, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life was tragically taken in Memphis, TN.  As we celebrate Dr. King’s birthday and commit ourselves to engage, give back, and continue the fight for racial and social justice, I am saddened by how much of Dr. King’s dream has gone deferred, especially with regards to our children.  In our criminal justice system, Dr. Kings dream is literally locked down, and has been since his death.  Yet, there are glimmers of hope for reforms that can be expanded upon by ensuring questions about the way we treat children are part of the political platform in 2018 mid-year elections.

Youth Justice in Alabama: Positive Steps

Brian Evans Wednesday, 10 January 2018 Posted in 2018, Campaigns

By Brian Evans, State Campaigns Director

From 2010-2015, an average of 600 children were tried as adults in Alabama each year; most of them were sent to adult court automatically, without any judicial review.  It is well known that the adult system is worse, both for the young people sent there, and because of higher recidivism rates, for the society that sent them there.  In an election year where reactionary, ‘80s-style, “tough on crime” rhetoric is making an unwelcome comeback, it is refreshing to see that Alabama apparently intends to move – albeit slowly – in the “smart on crime” direction.

Ending 2017 on the Right Note: Happy Holidays From The Campaign Youth Justice

Aprill O. Turner Wednesday, 20 December 2017 Posted in 2017, CFYJ Updates

By Aprill O. Turner, Communications Director 

What a year it has been! We are so thankful to all of the families, state partners, researchers, journalists, fellows, policy champions, and funders who have contributed to ending the adultification of youth this year. Now, more than ever, we know the power of and need for our movement.

Embracing the Rights of the Child: The US must Prioritize and Ratify

Wednesday, 20 December 2017 Posted in 2017, Across the Country

On December 10, 1948, in San Francisco, in the aftermath of the most brutal war the world had ever seen, a group of delegates gathered to sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a simple 30-article document outlining the basic rights to which all humanity is entitled and which all governments should respect, protect, and fulfill. Over the years, the principles of this Declaration have been fleshed out by more detailed treaties called Conventions. No Convention has more universal endorsement (at least on paper) than the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), ratified by every country in the world – except the United States.

Study Details Benefits to Missouri of “Raise the Age”

By Brian Evans Wednesday, 20 December 2017 Posted in 2017, Across the Country

By Brian Evans, State Campaigns Director

Over the past two years, four states have “Raised the Age” of criminal court jurisdiction to 18 – Louisiana and South Carolina in 2016, and New York and North Carolina earlier this year. While these recently passed laws have yet to go into effect, there are only five states that still charge all 17 year olds as adults no matter how minor the offense. Missouri, which has had a reputation for being a leader in juvenile justice because of its “Missouri model” of youth detention facilities, is one of those five states.

Northern Ireland: A Human Rights Approach to Youth Crime

By Rachel Marshall Wednesday, 20 December 2017 Posted in 2017, Across the Country

By Rachel Marshall, Federal Policy Counsel

In 1998, the Good Friday Agreement brought an end to three decades of conflict in Northern Ireland known as “The Troubles.” Even after the peace process, many in Northern Ireland harbored a deep distrust in police and the larger justice system. As part of the healing process, the government realized a complete overhaul of the justice system was needed. From this realization emerged a focus on restorative justice. In 2002, the Northern Ireland Justice Act created a statutory scheme for juvenile justice establishing a restorative justice model as the primary mode of intervention for justice-involved youth. While the model was initially established for 10-16 year olds, in 2005 the statute was expanded to include 17 year olds. Restorative justice is used both in pre-sentence diversion, as well as court-based intervention, with most low-level offenses dismissed with only a “caution.”

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