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DOJ Releases Judicial Waiver Data on Youth, Shows Increase in Drug Offenses Waived to Criminal Court

Carmen Daugherty Tuesday, 29 April 2014 Posted in 2014, Uncategorised


According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s latest bulletin, U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction handled nearly 1.4 million delinquency cases in 2010. “Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2010” shows that more than half (54%) of these cases were handled formally (i.e., a petition was filed requesting an adjudication or waiver hearing) and of the petitioned delinquency caseload, about 1% resulted in judicial waiver to adult criminal court. The number of delinquency cases judicially waived peaked in 1994 at 13,300 cases, more than double the number of cases waived in 1985. In 2010, juvenile courts waived an estimated 6,000 delinquency cases, 55% fewer cases than in 1994.

CFYJ Goes to College: Windows from Prison Art Exhibit

Jessica Sandoval Tuesday, 15 April 2014 Posted in 2014, Uncategorised

 

By Jessica Sandoval

 
On Wednesday, April 9, CFYJ participated on a panel to discuss youth incarcerated in the adult system as part of the Windows from Prison project at George Mason University.  This two-week exhibit will feature hundreds of participants taking part in daily workshops, events, and community forums. Students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and George Mason University collaborated to create photographs requested by incarcerated Washingtonians. 

 

When youth from Washington are placed in the federal penitentiary system, they can be sent to any prison across the country (potentially thousands of miles away from family or friends). Windows From Prison utilizes photography as a way to bridge this distance while creating space and humanistic entry points for students, teachers, NGO's, family members of incarcerated individuals, former prisoners, and policy makers to engage with the sources, impacts, and alternatives to mass incarceration.
 
“If you could have a window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out to?”
This question was asked to prisoners who are from Washington but who have been sent to prisons across the country. As responses came back, students from George Mason University and Duke Ellington High School went across the city, created the requested photographs, and mailed the images to the incarcerated participants.

From April 7 -21, the photographs, which have each been printed on 10-foot banners, will be exhibited on George Mason University’s Fairfax campus (situated in the main public square in front of the Fenwick Library).

 
For the exhibit, the project has partnered students, teachers, policy advocates, former prisoners, and community members to produce an extensive set of public programing. Each day will feature film screenings, brainstorming sessions, lectures, poetry readings, and more in hopes of meaningfully exploring the causes, effects, and alternatives to incarceration.
 
For more information, the requested images from those incarcerated and a list of events, visit, here
 
To learn more about the efforts to remove youth from the adult court in the District of Columbia, please visit CFYJ's website, here.  

CFYJ and the National PTA: Dedicated to Juvenile Justice Reform

Carmen Daugherty Thursday, 20 March 2014 Posted in 2014, Uncategorised

The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) held its annual legislative conference last week at which CFYJ presented on recent state trends in keeping youth out of the adult criminal justice system. We highlighted the work of over 20 states in their efforts to end the placement of youth in criminal courts, jails, and prisons. Additionally, CFYJ provided background on the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) and shared recommendations to state-level PTA members on how to best advocate for JJDPA reauthorization and improve the current core requirements.

CFYJ Participated in RebLaw Conference hosted by Yale University

Jessica Sandoval Wednesday, 05 March 2014 Posted in 2014, Uncategorised

In February, the Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) was represented at the Rebellious Lawyering Conference (RebLaw) hosted by Yale University. 

Dwayne Betts and Jessica Sandoval


RebLaw is the nation's largest student-run, public interest conference. Each year the conference brings together practitioners, law students, and community activists from around the country to discuss innovative and progressive approaches to law and social change. The conference, grounded in the spirit of influential attorney, Gerald Lopez's rebellious lawyering, seeks to build a community of law students, practitioners, and activists seeking to work in the service of social change movements and to challenge hierarchies of race, wealth, and gender within legal practice and education.

I was privileged to participate as a panelist on the “Roper, Graham, and Miller: What Now, What Next?” panel.  Youth can no longer be sentenced to death, life without parole for non-homicide offenses, or mandatory life without parole. The panel discussed the larger impact of these decisions. Our panel was facilitated by Dwayne Betts, long-time supporter and spokesperson for CFYJ and a first year law student at Yale.  The panelists included: Brandy Buskey, staff attorney at the ACLU;  Vinny Schiraldi, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Probation; and Marsha Levick, co-founder, Deputy Director and Chief Counsel of the Juvenile Law Center.

The room was packed full of law students from around the country who asked very insightful and provocative questions pertaining to these cases and juvenile justice reform in general.  The discussion was robust and wholly agreed upon that Roper, Graham, & Miller was correctly decided.   The panel also discussed that these cases have tightly driven home the message that kids are different and that many factors should be explored before ever considering the adult court as an option.  One option explored was that states and congress should consider not housing youth in adult facilities, and all youth should originate in juvenile justice system while the factors of each of their cases are
considered.

To read more about the dangers of housing youth in adult facilities, please click here.

Advocates Discuss the Need to Improve the JJDPA and Stregthen the role of OJJDP

Carmen Daugherty Wednesday, 19 February 2014 Posted in 2014, Uncategorised

 

On February 13th and 14th, the Campaign for Youth Justice participated in a meeting of the “Committee on a Prioritized Plan to Implement a Developmental Approach in Juvenile Justice Reform” held at the National Academies of Sciences. CFYJ’s Policy Director, Carmen Daugherty, participated in an afternoon panel with fellow advocates from the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) and Justice Policy Institute (JPI) to discuss the need to reauthorize, and appropriately fund, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). The panelists discussed the importance of the JJDPA and how it helps states leverage federal dollars towards innovative, evidence based programming and the need for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to be the leader in juvenile justice research.

To learn more about why JJDPA matters, visit here

To read coverage by the Juvenile Justice Exchange about this meeting, visit here.

Governors Must Certify PREA Compliance or Face Fiscal Penalties by May 2014

Carmen Daugherty Thursday, 13 February 2014 Posted in 2014, Uncategorised

On February 11th, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a letter to state governors reminding them of their obligations under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and setting a strict deadline for governor certification of compliance. Per the PREA standards, states risk losing valuable federal dollars--such as the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Formula Program and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP) Act Formula Grant Program--if unable to provide DOJ with certification of compliance or assurance that money will be used to come into compliance.  

A governor's certification of full compliance, "shall apply to all facilities in the State under the operational control of the State's executive branch, including facilities operated by private entities on behalf of the State's executive branch." 28 C.F.R. § 115.501(b). By May 15th 2014, governors must provide DOJ with such a certification or provide DOJ with an assurance that the state will use no less than 5% of its federal grant dollars to come into the compliance "in the future."
 
While we applaud DOJ for setting a certification date, we wonder how many states will actually be able to certify compliance by May 2014. Although the PREA standards have been in effect since August 2012, it is unclear what progress has been made in the states since audits began in August 2013. We also wonder how long state governors can promise to use federal dollars to come into compliance without actually taking any substantive steps to keep corrections facility residents safe.
 
Considering that nearly 100,000 youth are held in adult jails and prisons each year, how long can we wait for full implementation of the Youthful Inmate Standard? Or are we to be satisfied to receive "assurances" from the state that "we're working on it" only to find ourselves back in the same spot we were in 10 years ago when PREA became the law of the land? 
 
As May 15, 2014 draws near, helps us encourage states to come into compliance by signing this petition urging your Governor to take action now.
 
 
 

 

 

Voice and Visibility for Disconnected Girls

Carmen Daugherty Monday, 18 November 2013 Posted in 2013, Uncategorised

On November 15th, The National Crittenton Foundation, Georgetown Law Center on Poverty, Inequality & Public Policy, and Human Rights Project for Girls hosted a Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice for Disconnected Girls forum at Georgetown University Law Center. This event launched a new policy series entitled Voices and Visibility for Disconnected Girls: Responding to Trauma. The goal of this new series is to explore the importance of trauma-informed approaches to girls in school, the juvenile justice system, and child welfare system.

Liz Ryan receives Award in Leadership at NPJS Annual Symposium

Carmen Daugherty Wednesday, 30 October 2013 Posted in 2013, Uncategorised

 

Michael Jones and Liz Ryan

 

 

Liz Ryan receives Award in Leadership at NPJS Annual Symposium
 
On October 22nd, the Campaign’s own Liz Ryan received the James E. Gould Leadership and Vision Award at the 19th Annual National Partnership for Juvenile Services Symposium on Juvenile Services. During her speech, Liz stated, “We need to create some space for others to come forward. We believe in the capacity of young people to become successful and we need to model that ourselves.” “We want to create opportunities for more people in the field.”  
 
The award was created in honor and recognition of the late-James E. Gould, a veteran staff member from the U. S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), who advocated for funding to support juvenile confinement training and technical assistance initiative. In addition to recognizing the great work of Liz, Mr. Josh Delaney from the Department of Justice and Ms. Teresa Abreu from Cook County, Illinois Juvenile Detention Center also received awards for their expertise and leadership in youth justice issues. “ 
 
Additionally, CFYJ presented at the Symposium to share new information and learn what was happening in the field. The Symposium was filled with outstanding speakers and provided an opportunity to build partnerships for enhanced service delivery. The Campaign focused its remarks on removing youth from adult jails and prisons and placing them into juvenile facilities. The Campaign shared its latest report State Trends and detailed how some states successfully removed youth from adult jails and prisons through legislative changes, county resolutions, and agreements between state jails and juvenile corrections. 
 
Congrats, Liz!




CFYJ Presents at the19th National Symposium on Juvenile Services

Roger Ghatt Tuesday, 22 October 2013 Posted in 2013, Uncategorised

Join the Campaign for Youth Justice in celebrating the 19th National Symposium on Juvenile Services “Youth Development in Juvenile Justice: Promising Approaches, Positive Conditions and Safe and Protective Environments.” The event is sponsored by the National Partnership for Juvenile Services (NPJS) and takes place on October 20-24, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. CFYJ will be hosting “Jail Removal of Youth in Adult Criminal Justice Systems: A State Trends Update,” a panel session that will discuss the policy reforms that a number of states have undertaken in the last decade, including the removal of youth from the adult criminal justice system and from adult jails and prisons. The panel will take place on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 3:15-4:45 p.m. The panelists will include CFYJ’s Director of Policy Carmen Daugherty.

 
NPJS is an umbrella organization who strives to advocate for the highest standards in care, management and programming for detained youth. Its mission is to strengthen training and professional development opportunities for practitioners and lead juvenile justice systemic reform efforts. For more information, you can visit their website, here
 
 

10 Years Too Long

Carmen Daugherty Monday, 21 October 2013 Posted in 2013, Uncategorised

 
More than a decade ago, a federal law was created to decrease and prevent prison rape and sexual assault in U.S. jails, prisons, detention centers, and lock ups. Yet, ten years later, youth under 18 are still at the highest risk of sexual victimization in adult detention facilities. With nearly 100,000 youth in adult jails and prisons each year, more must be done to protect youth under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).
 
Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM) creates awareness for youth in the adult system, and this week, YJAM will focus on raising awareness for the full implementation of PREA. 
 
PREA includes standards for youth under 18 in adult facilities. Unfortunately, the regulations do not call for the complete removal of kids in adult facilities, but Governors should see these regulations as a floor, not a ceiling.  Under PREA’s Youthful Inmate Standard, facilities must keep youth under 18 sight and sound separated from adults. Often times, adult facilities use solitary confinement or “segregation” to keep youth safe and away from adult offenders. Sadly, youth placed in solitary or segregation are not any safer since we know that youth in adult facilities are 36 times more likely to commit suicide than their counterparts in juvenile facilities. To account for this, the Youthful Inmate Standard states that the use of isolation should not be used as a means to separate youth from adults.
 
We know that most juvenile justice systems across the country are better equipped to provide developmentally appropriate programs and services for youth. Additionally, youth in juvenile facilities receive true rehabilitative services that lower the chances of recidivism and provide a real opportunity to reenter their communities successfully.
 
Right now, states are auditing their detention facilities—jails, prisons, lock ups--to see if each is in compliance with PREA. Governors must certify whether their state meets basic requirements spelled out by PREA to keep inmates safe from sexual assault. This week, we are calling on you to tell your Governors to fully implement the Youthful Inmate Standard of PREA and tell the oversight agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, to have a stronger voice to protect children held in adult facilities.

We can not let another 10 years go by without states removing children from adult jails and prisons. Take action today. Let the U.S. Attorney General know that kids need to be removed from adult jails and prisons. 

 
 
Join us this week in continuing the conversation on youth justice issues, follow us on Facebook and Twitter using: 
 
#ImplementPREA   #YJAM   #youthjustice

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