Since 2009, YJAM has grown every year. Youth, families, students and advocates throughout the country have made YJAM what it is today – a movement to end the prosecution of youth in the adult system.
This year for YJAM, the Campaign for Youth Justice joins other national organizations and movements in calling for our local communities to vote in local elections because voting for youth justice matters. While public safety often makes it onto the public polls and local political platforms, we spend little time re-imagining justice for our young people. In fact, most people in local courtrooms—district attorneys, sheriffs, and judges—are in elected positions. This year, we will spend YJAM raising awareness in states about local government and how their decisions directly affect our daily lives, especially when it comes to policing and the public safety of our most vulnerable population, our children.
As the 2018 state legislative sessions come to a close, CFYJ staff offer a brief look at key issues relating to youth tried in adult court, legislation that was proposed and passed, as well as what to look for in the 2019 session.
In 2016, the South Carolina legislature unanimously passed S. 916 to raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction so that 17-year-olds (excluding those charged with Class A-D felony offenses) would start in family court. Implementation of the law in July 2019 is contigent on the Department of Juvenile Justice receiving "necessary funds" for implementation. This webinar will provide a data overview of youth in South Carolina's system, an overview of implementation strategies for judges, and an opportunity for feedback on what needs to happen between now and July 2019 to ensure smooth implementation.
Part of the 40 for 40: 40 Stories for 40 Years of the JJDPA video wall project, marking the 40th anniversary in 2014 of the landmark U.S. law, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).
Participants from around the United States -- young people, advocates, researchers, law enforcement, judges, policymakers -- shared personal stories and reflections on the law, why it matters, and why it must be strengthened and better enforced.
Learn more: http://sparkaction.org/40for40
Go to http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/09/26... for links to resources mentioned below and more information and videos.
"Why lock somebody up while you're locked up? You're trying to kill their spirit even more," says Michael Kemp, describing his six-month stay in solitary confinement at age 17.
Solitary confinement was once a punishment reserved for the most-hardened, incorrigible criminals. Today, it is standard practice for tens of thousands of juveniles in prisons and jails across America. Far from being limited to the most violent offenders, solitary confinement is now used against perpetrators of minor crimes and children who are forced to await their trials in total isolation. Often, these stays are prolonged, lasting months or even years at a time.
In the US, minors who get in trouble with the law often face a justice system that treats them like adults, and punishes them with long sentences in tough prisons. After spending their teenage years behind bars, many have a hard time adjusting to life on the outside.
D.C.'s News Channel 8 covers the Campaign for Youth Justice's Holiday Book Drive with Free Minds Book Club. News features formerly incarcerated youth and burgeoning poet and activist Michael Kemp. Story details restrictions to education on kids in the adult criminal justice system.
Action for Children North Carolina, Children First and Communities in Schools of Buncombe County held a community forum on best practices for steering youth away from crime, consequences of sending youth to the adult criminal system, engaging communities in the public policy debate, and funding for local juvenile justice service programs. Shay Bilchik, Director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown Public Policy Institute, former prosecutor, and former head of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, joined Pediatrician Dr. Olson Huff as speakers.
Tracy McClard's son Jonathan took his life at 17 years old in an adult facility. Tracy is now working with the Campaign for Youth Justice make others aware of the danger of placing youth in adult jails and prisons. KFVS-TV sat down with Tracy to discuss the issue.
Faith Communities for Families and Children presents, God Cries When We Sentence Children to Die in Prison. Five religious leaders from diverse faith traditions, united with the shared conviction that God does not want any of our children to perish as casualties of our justice system.