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Honoring Trayvon Martin: Black Boys Deserve More

Friday, 24 February 2017 Posted in Voices

By Catie Armstrong, Juvenile Justice Fellow

Five years ago, on the evening of Feburary 26, 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed. After visiting a local convenience store, Trayvon began walking home, armed only with the bag of Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea he had just purchased. A 28-year-old man, armed with a gun, shot and killed Trayvon that night.

South Carolina Advocates Urge Legislators to Improve its JJ System to Serve Youth and Implement Raise the Age

Thursday, 23 February 2017 Posted in Take Action Now

By Jeree Thomas, Policy Director

Advocates across South Carolina submitted a letter to the South Carolina House Legislative Oversight Committee today.  The letter was in response to a January 2017 report by the Legislative Audit Council that found the following about the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ):

- DJJ had two uninvestigated and unreported deaths of youth in their care;
-  A lack of sufficient training for juvenile correctional officers;
- Non-compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA);
- Incomplete and inaccurate data tracking on the progress of youth in the system;
- Lack of accountability and quality assurance of juvenile services at the county-level and in its wilderness camps.

The Power of Love

Monday, 13 February 2017 Posted in Campaigns

By Marcy Mistrett, CEO

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this week, and as the Executive Director of a national organization that ends the prosecution of youth in adult court, I am urging us all to embrace ‘the Power of Love’.

Since its inception, the Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ), has insisted that impacted youth and families need to be equal partners at the reform table.  Why, You might ask?  First, because we know that those closest to the problem are best informed on ways to FIX the problem.  But beyond that, youth and family advocacy is critical because when drafting reforms, families always remind us of the potential of their child(ren) to learn from their mistakes and make amends, especially if they feel supported and loved.  It is this humanity that insists on urgency, resists compromise, and pushes for hope and possibility. Without families and youth at the table—reforms would not go nearly far enough.

New Guide Documents that Over Half of Girls in California’s Juvenile Justice Facilities Are LGBTQ or Gender Nonconforming

Monday, 13 February 2017 Posted in Voices

This blog was originally issued as a press release. 

Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Impact Justice announced the release of a trailblazing publication entitled “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Questioning, and/or Gender Nonconforming and Transgender Girls and Boys in the California Juvenile Justice System: A Practice Guide.” The guide, written by Angela Irvine and Aisha Canfield at Impact Justice and Shannan Wilber at NCLR, provides California probation officials with the tools to protect the safety and well-being of LGBTQ and gender nonconforming (GNC) youth in their care and custody.

Mapping A Way Out Of The Adult Justice System

Friday, 03 February 2017

By Anne-Lise Vray, Communications Associate

In 2017, the Campaign for Youth Justice has chosen to draw a map throughout the year showing the way(s) out of the adult justice system. Each month, CFYJ will identify a new stop on the road that highlights a problem in prosecuting youth as adults and a way to remap an effective alternative.

The Justice System Continues to Fail Black Boys

Wednesday, 01 February 2017 Posted in Across the Country

By Aprill O. Turner, CFYJ Communications Director

As we begin another Black History Month, it is time to celebrate the contributions and history of African Americans in this country.  Along with the celebration of progress, it’s also a time to reflect on areas for improvement. How young Black boys are treated in the criminal justice system is one of those areas.

We are in a national crisis. Across the country our justice system is marked by disparate racial outcomes at every stage of the process — especially for those who are most vulnerable, young Black boys. The racial and ethnic disparities that exist in our criminal and juvenile justice systems do not measure up to the standard of treating everyone equitably.

Guest Column: #connection: Expanding Our Social Capital

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

By Ethan Smith, MA, Mentoring Specialist at Save Our Youth.

The Executive Director of Save Our Youth often says kids are a product of who they are connected to and who they are disconnected from. What a sobering thought, especially as we see increasing numbers of kids with few, shallow, or antagonistic relationships with their communities, schools, and even families. Instead, digital media and smart technology have introduced a world of supposedly unlimited connections, and kids today eagerly substitute online “socialization” for real relationships at unprecedented rates. This trend applies equally to the kids we serve around Denver, who are already considered at-risk because of the struggles their families, neighborhoods, and schools face.

New Year, More Possibilities

Brian Evans Monday, 23 January 2017 Posted in Campaigns

By Brian Evans, CFYJ State Campaign Director

Last year was a pretty good one, at least for reforms and restrictions on the practice of transferring youth to the adult criminal justice system. Two states (Louisiana and South Carolina) Raised the Age of adult criminal court jurisdiction to 18, and two other states (California and Vermont) took away the power of prosecutors to “Direct File” children into the adult system. In addition, Washington DC and Arizona passed laws to keep kids out of adult jails, and Indiana enacted a law that will allow some youth charged as adults to return to the juvenile justice system.

Time to March, United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Marcy Mistrett Wednesday, 18 January 2017

By Marcy Mistrett, CEO

On the eve of the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, I have done a lot of reflection on the need for a peaceful transition of power as one of the core tenants of our democracy.  It’s a moment for our incoming leader to set the roadmap for the country over the next four years.  It is a day filled with deep tradition and symbolism. 

Week of Paradox: Martin Luther King Day to Inauguration of President Elect Trump

Marcy Mistrett Tuesday, 17 January 2017 Posted in Voices

By Marcy Mistrett, CEO

The week of January 15, 2017 is one book-ended by two events of national importance that, juxtaposed, provide us an opportunity to re-evaluate and recommit to our values and beliefs as a country and to our children. Monday, we celebrated Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday – a day marked with our country’s values of hope, inclusion, justice and freedom. By Friday, we welcome in President-Elect Trump, who won his election based on values of fear, bigotry, and exclusion. Yet, what state campaigns that fight for the removal of youth from the adult court can verify, is that in providing a clear roadmap toward justice, we can overcome fear, bridge this paradox and become stronger together.

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