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CFYJ is Bringing Reform to the District of Columbia!

Posted in 2014, Across the Country, Campaigns Thursday, 05 June 2014

CFYJ is Bringing Reform to the District of Columbia!

In May 2014, Campaign for Youth Justice, working in partnership with DC Lawyers for Youth (DCLY), published a report titled, Capital City Correction: Reforming DC's Use of Adult Incarceration Against Youth.  The report explains how youth enter the adult system in DC, summarizes data on the number of youth tried as adults each year, and provides policy recommendations that would restore balance to the District's process for trying youth as adults.

While we are a national organization active across the country, we are committed to bringing change to the city we call home. We're excited to announce that as a follow-up to the report, Campaign for Youth Justice, along with DCLY, have launched the Judge Our Youth (JOY) Campaign to address the issues related to charging youth as adults here in DC. This campaign promotes policy reforms that create a justice system that is more fair, humane, and effective.

On June 3, DC Councilmembers Jim Graham and Tommy Wells co-introduced the Youth Offender Accountability and Rehabilitation Act of 2014 (YOARA), and six other Councilmembers joined Graham and Wells in co-sponsoring the introduction of the bill.

The YOARA legislation would:
Remove kids from adult jails while they are pending trial in the adult system;
Give kids charged as adults the ability to ask a judge to transfer them to the juvenile system so that they can get the rehabilitative services they need to get back on track;
End the practice of always charging an individual youth as an adult, regardless of the allegations, once the youth has been charged as an adult (i.e., "once an adult, always an adult").

We're excited to have the opportunity to partner with so many local friends and allies during this campaign. We hope you will consider signing the JOY Campaign Statement of Principles and sharing it with your friends. If you live and work in the DC area and want to learn more, please contact Angella Bellota, Field Director: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #JOYDC #CorrectDC