Thursday, 12 September 2019
The Campaign for Youth Justice declared October to be National Youth Justice Action Month (YJAM). Since 2009, YJAM has grown every year. YJAM aims to provide people across the country with an opportunity to develop action-oriented events in their communities. We hope to see you in October!
Sign Up Now
Tuesday, 03 September 2019
As part of Youth Justice Action Month (YJAM) , we’re asking young people and those who have been impacted by harsh laws that sentence youth to adult time to help design the Campaign for Youth Justice’s (CFYJ) annual holiday card encompassing the theme of “Peace & Justice.” This supports our overall theme for YJAM this year: A.C.T. (Awaken. Confront. Transform.) to End Racism. At CFYJ, we hope to transform the current unjust system to one that embraces peace and justice by addressing historic and structural racism and advances healing and peace.
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
Many activists and organizers are well versed in the ways that structural racism drives unfair outcomes for youth who come in contact with the law. It is well documented that despite a near 60% drop in youth incarceration and continued falling arrest rates that in many places racial and ethnic disparities are increasing despite reform efforts. Youth of color, particularly Black youth, who are charged, incarcerated, and sentenced as adults heavily bear the burden of these disparities. Not only are they treated more harshly than their white counterparts when arrested with the same crimes; but they are sentenced more extremely, often getting longer sentences than adults who commit similar crimes. This is unacceptable.
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
By Marcy Mistrett, CEO
Anniversaries can be moments of celebration or they can be reminders of our losses and short-comings. The exoneration and settlement awarded to of five young men charged with rape, assault, robbery , attempted murder, and rioting in NY in 2014 juxtaposed to the tragic suicide of Kalief Browder in 2015 underscores this fact.
Today is the 4th anniversary of Kalief Browder’s death; he was 22 years young when he took his life, after spending three years on Rikers Island in New York as a teenager, two of which were spent in solitary confinement. His story moved a nation—and the state of New York fundamentally changed the way it looked at 16 & 17 year olds in their justice system.
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
By Aprill O. Turner, CFYJ Communications Director
NOTE: CFYJ Communications Director, Aprill Turner appeared on WHUR.FM (Washington, DC) with cast member of "When They See Us", Asante Blackk. Check out the full interview here--What You Will Learn From the Documentary of Central Park 5.
Today Netflix releases the highly anticipated limited series, Ava DuVernay's "When They See Us". The series chronicles the story of the tragic Central Park Five case about five teenage boys of color from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of the rape of a white woman which they didn't commit in 1989, and the 25-year fight for justice following their conviction.
The Campaign for Youth Justice had the opportunity to participate in an advanced screening of the film last month in New York, along with other social and criminal justice advocacy organizations.
Wednesday, 31 October 2018
Brian Evans, CFYJ State Campaign Director
With the theme #VoteYouthJustice – anticipating the election that is now less than a week away – this year’s Youth Justice Action Month (YJAM) featured events and activities all across the country.
Every October is Youth Justice Action Month, and this year, on the very first day, New York’s “Raise the Age” law went into effect for 16-year-olds, who are now no longer automatically tried as adults. All children under 18 were also removed from Rikers Island
Wednesday, 31 October 2018
Congratulations to Elle Reber from Green Bay, WI for winning the poster contest for !
Monday, 22 October 2018
By Nicole Dooley, Policy Counsel at NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and Rachel Marshall, Federal Policy Counsel for the Campaign for Youth Justice
After the February 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, people across the country again started having too-familiar conversations around how to keep students safe from violence at school. These conversations covered a wide range of topics, from students discussing clear backpacks, to teachers and administrators taking emergency preparedness trainings, to state and federal lawmakers deciding how to spend money to make schools safer.
Thursday, 04 October 2018
Election Day 2018 is November 6. During October 2018, Youth Justice Action Month (YJAM) will focus on the importance of elections in the fight for Youth Justice. Throughout the country, races for everything from School Board to the Courtroom to the State House will be in high gear, and the futures of young people will be at stake!
As part of YJAM, we’re asking young people around the country to design a #VoteYouthJustice poster. Five posters will be selected by the Campaign for Youth Justice’s spokespeople and those 5 posters will be voted on by the general public. The winning poster will be used by the Campaign for Youth Justice leading up to Election Day 2018.
Here’s what you need to know to enter the contest:
- Young people from across the country are invited to enter the YJAM #VoteYouthJustice Poster Design Contest by designing a poster that encompasses what voting youth justice looks like to them. Make sure you include the date of the election, November 6, 2018, in your poster design!
- Submit your poster here by midnight on October 18, 2018. You can submit a picture of your design or an original file.
- The top 5 posters will be announced October 23, 2018 and voting will open to the public from October 23, 2018 through October 29, 2018.
- A winner will be announced on October 30, 2018.
Tuesday, 02 October 2018
By Marcy Mistrtett, CEO of the Campaign for Youth Justice and Roy Austin, Partner at Harris, Wiltshire and Grannis and former Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity (U.S. Domestic Policy Council)
Today is the first day of October, and the launch of the tenth anniversary of Youth Justice Action Month (YJAM). YJAM began with one mother whose 17-year-old son tragically took his life in an adult prison in Missouri. Since then, this month marks a time when communities across the country take action against inhumane and harsh treatment of children in the justice system. In 2015 and 2016, the Campaign for Youth Justice worked with the Obama Administration’s Domestic Policy Council on proclamations issued in honor of YJAM and the progress made on behalf of young people who come in contact with the justice system. In the 2016 proclamation, President Obama called on all of us to “affirm our commitment to helping children of every background become successful engaged citizens.”
Tuesday, 02 October 2018
Take the #VoteYouthJustice Pledge! By signing our petition and sharing it on social media, you are committing to and encouraging your networks to commit to voting and holding elected officials accountable for how they treat youth.
Take the Pledge.
Tuesday, 25 September 2018
By Rachel Marshall, CFYJ Federal Policy Counsel
It seems like no matter where you turn these days, everyone is talking about the 2018 election, including the Campaign for Youth Justice. As we approach the kick off of Youth Justice Action Month in October, we’ve been focused on highlighting the issues that impact young people and why, when you head to the polls on November 6, you should #voteyouthjustice. 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, three out of four people in local courtrooms—district attorneys, sheriffs, and some judges—are in elected positions. Their decisions directly affect our daily lives, especially when it comes to policing and the public safety of our most vulnerable population, our children.
Wednesday, 16 May 2018
By Aprill O. Turner, Communications Director
2018 has already been another year of tension in cities across the country between police officers and young black males.
The headlines of these incidents never seem to cease. In March, officers in Sacramento, Calif., opened fired and killed Stephon Clark for standing in his own backyard holding a cellphone. Then in April, Brooklyn police officers shot and killed Saheed Vassel, an unarmed black man with mental disabilities when they mistakenly mistook the pipe he was holding for a gun.
Philadelphia police officers arrested Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson in Starbucks in April for simply sitting in the store and waiting for their business partner for a meeting. And in May, a young black man, Anthony Wall — dressed in a tuxedo after having just taken his little sister to prom — was seen in a viral video getting choked by a police officer in Warsaw, N.C. at a Waffle House.
Wednesday, 20 June 2018
By Rachel Marshall, Federal Policy Counsel
We’re a little less than 5 months away from 2018’s crucial midterm elections, but before we can get there, states across the country are voting in packed primary elections. Here at the Campaign for Youth Justice, we’re using this opportunity to make sure local communities are getting out to vote and getting their local candidates to talk about youth justice. That’s why we were thrilled to hear Pod Save the People host DeRay McKesson talk to two out of the three candidates for Baltimore State’s Attorney on a recent episode of the podcast ahead of Maryland’s June 26 primary election (he invited all three candidates, but the third candidate did not respond).
Tuesday, 29 May 2018
By Jill Ward, Senior Advocacy Consultant, Youth First Initiative
“We're half the people; we should be half the Congress.” - Jeannette Rankin of Montana, first woman to hold federal office in the United States
That was the vision of the first woman elected to Congress in 1916, four years before the 19th amendment secured (white) women’s right to vote and another 45 years before African American men and women were able to exercise their right to vote.
We are not there yet, but 2018 promises to be a seminal year for women in politics. Today, there are 84 women in the House of Representatives and 23 in the Senate – roughly 20% of the Congress. Of the 107 women serving in Congress, 38, or 35.5%, are women of color. An improvement over time, but still far from half the Congress.