NJ Parents Caucus is a coalition of parents, caregivers and youth whose mission is to ensure that every family who has children with special emotional and behavioral needs is given an opportunity to play a strong and active role in the conceptualization, development, and delivery of effective and timely services within the mental health, juvenile justice and child welfare systems.
Bill Number: SJR 18
Type of Reform
Study/Sentencing Reform - Created a commission to examine issues concerning sentencing and parole of juvenile offenders who are tried as adults for serious, violent crimes which may result in a life term of imprisonment without a reasonable opportunity for parole, and to make recommendations on how the law governing the criminal justice and legal systems may be changed to afford these juveniles a reasonable opportunity for release when appropriate.
Bill Number: SB 2003
Type of Reform
Transfer Reform - Increased minimum age of adult prosecution to 15 from 14. Limited transfer and incarceration of all minors to most serious and violent crimes (before, this only applied to youth under 16). Also required prosecutors to submit written analysis on the reasons for seeking a transfer, which is granted by a judge; and also limited segregation use.
Souls of Young Folk: The Disproportionate Prosecution of Black Youth as Adults in New Jersey
This brief by the New Jersey Parents’ Caucus and the Campaign for Youth Justice highlights the historical and social treatment of black youth in New Jersey and the emergence of the state’s youth waiver laws.
The Solitary Confinement of Youth with Mental Health Disabilities in New Jersey’s Prison System (2018)
This report discusses the impact of solitary confinement on youth under 18 who are transferred and incarcerated in New Jersey’s state prisons. The report includes data from surveys of youth in New Jersey’s prisons.
Bring Our Children Home: Ain't I A Child?
“Kids will be kids.” For many, this age-old adage reminds us of the follies of youth and the inevitable mishaps that accompany the journey into adulthood as we discover who we are and our place in the world. This saying also reminds us that children are not adults. As such, children should be treated differently, with room to grow and learn from their mistakes. But, for far too many children in New Jersey and across the country, this axiom comes with a caveat: kids will be kids... unless they are Black or brown.
The Incarceration of Children & Youth in New Jersey’s Adult Prison System (2015)
This report gathers and analyzes comprehensive state data from the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJ DOC) on 472 children tried, sentenced, and incarcerated in the adult prison system.
Kids Count Special Report: Juvenile Justice (2012)
This report aims to measure the change in New Jersey’s treatment of young offenders.