By Samantha Goodman, CFYJ Fellow
Following Hill visits, where the attendees (aged 16-25) met with members of Congress and/or their staff to discuss and share stories on the need for youth justice reform, Daugherty challenged participants to consider how reform movements get started. Together, Daugherty, Okonkwo, and Durant helped the young leaders understand the difficulties and best ways to build a campaign or movement. Participants reflected on engaging unlikely allies, unifying one goal, and mustering commitment to the cause.
Keeping in line with the theme of the summit, Daugherty explained the problems with trying and incarcerating youth as adults. She presented state-by-state efforts and statistics, inviting the attendees to get involved in programs in their communities.
"There are no best practices for how to house kids in adult facilities because kids don't belong there," Daugherty said to the young leaders.
Okonkow outlined the DC Judge Our Youth Campaign and Durant shared his personal experience as a juvenile in the system as well as a poem he wrote when first involved with Free Minds.
For more information on how you can get involved in our efforts for juvenile justice reform, call the Campaign for Youth Justice at (202) 558- 3580.