|SPLC: Art, Poetry & Justice Slam in Mississippi
The Campaign for Youth Justice team would like to take a moment to thank all of you whose inspirational actions engaged, educated and activated communities during Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM).
Through Youth Justice Awareness Month, you lifted up the experience, voice and leadership of young people and their families who have been directly affected by the justice system. You took a stance against trying youth as adults, placing youth in adult jails and prisons, the over-incarceration of youth of color in the justice system, and the dangers of solitary confinement and the risk of violence and sexual assault in adult jails and prisons.
Many of your states were highlighted in a new report, “State Trends: Legislative Victories from 2011-2013 Removing Youth from the Adult Criminal Justice System” and you shared the good news with your communities.
|FFLIC 5k Walk/Run in Louisiana
And although there was a government shutdown for the first half of October, that didn’t stop you from hosting events – such as film screenings, panel discussions, poetry slams, art exhibits, and 5k runs. By engaging your community, you move these issues forward and play a role in building youth justice wins throughout the country.
You showed how the Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) matters to your communities because it sets federal standards for how youth in the justice system should be treated. And your actions pressured Congress to keep investing in federal funds and to consider the reauthorization of the JJDPA.
|SPLC event at the University of Alabama -Birmingham
During YJAM, you took actions to ensure that the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is being fully implemented in your states, and because of your efforts, the U.S. Department of Justice issued new guidance recommending that PREA’s Youthful Inmate Standard be implemented by removing youth from adult jails and prisons!
Tracy McClard, Chair of Youth Justice Awareness Month, recently shared in an interview with JJIE, “No matter what side of the issue you are on, if you do the research, you're going to find that kids don't belong in adult systems in any way, shape or form.” It is people like Tracy and you, that give our youth a fighting chance. Your actions inspire us all to continue this momentum all year long!
Thank you to all organizations and their partners for hosting YJAM events in 2013:
ACLU of Mississippi
Act 4 Juvenile Justice Campaign
Alliance for Youth Justice
American University Students
Appalachian State University -Student Chapter of the American Correctional Association
Black on Both Sides
Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings (CEEAS)
CFYJ Fellowship Alumni
Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce
Child and Family Focus, Inc.
Children’s Defense Fund-Southern Regional Office
Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition
Correctional Association of New York - Juvenile Justice Project
DC Lawyers for Youth
Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center
DeSoto County Parents and Students for Justice (DC-PSJ)
Education from the Inside Out Coalition
Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children (FFLIC)
Families and Friends Organized to Reform Juvenile Justice (FORJ)
Families of Youth Incarcerated (FYI)
First Defense Legal Aid
Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop
Illinois Juvenile Justice Initiative
Immigrant Youth Justice League
Just Kids Partnership
Kings Leadership Institute
Michigan Association for Children's Mental Health
Michigan Citizens for Prison Reform
Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency
NAACP of Mississippi
One Voice of Mississippi
Renewed Minds, Inc.
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI)
Tampa Interfaith Coalition for Juvenile Justice
The Children's Campaign - Florida
The National Crittenton Foundation
The Young People’s Project of Jackson
Tougaloo College Owens Health and Wellness Center
United Way of the Capital Area
University of Alabama at Birmingham - Criminal Justice Student Organization
University of Alabama at Birmingham - NAACP Student Chapter
University of Alabama at Birmingham - The Young Americans for Liberty
University of Maryland College Park- KSH Tzedek Student Fellowship
Voices for Florida Girls
Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project
To learn more about Youth Justice Awareness Month and event hosts, click HERE
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