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About Us[return to top]
The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is dedicated to ending the practice of trying, sentencing, and incarcerating youth under 18 in the adult criminal justice system.
The Campaign works in partnership with state-based campaigns in a number of states. We serve as a clearinghouse of information on youth prosecuted as adults and make our tools and resources available to those interested in learning and taking action on an issue that personally affects them.
We strongly believe that any movement must involve those who are most impacted by the laws and policies. Thus, we seek to empower those affected by encouraging them to use their voices and experiences to effect meaningful change.
CFYJ is a member organization of the National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition (NJJDPC), a collaborative array of youth- and family- serving, social justice, law enforcement, corrections, and faith-based organizations, working to ensure healthy families, build strong communities and improve public safety by promoting fair and effective policies, practices and programs for youth involved or at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. CFYJ staff serve on the Steering Committee of the coalition. The coalition meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 1:30 pm in Washington, DC and the meeting is open to the public.
CFYJ staff co-chair the Act 4 Juvenile Justice campaign of the NJJDP Coalition. The Act 4 Juvenile Justice campaign is working to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). For more than three decades, the JJDPA has provided direction and support for juvenile justice system improvements and has significantly contributed to the reduction of juvenile crime and delinquency. The JJDPA sets out federal standards for the custody and care of youth in the juvenile justice system. For additional information, visit www.act4jj.org.
As a DC-based organization, CFYJ is a member organization of and CFYJ staff serve on the Steering Committee of the Youth Justice Project, a DC Lawyers for Youth initiative to organize youth-serving organizations in Washington D.C. to speak with one voice on juvenile justice issues. The Youth Justice project provides advocacy and policy support for juvenile justice reform. For additional information, visit: www.dcly.org.
In addition, CFYJ is a member organization of the International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO), whose mission is to contribute an international and inter-disciplinary vision of juvenile justice in order to create a future for minors and young people all over the world who are in situations of exclusion as a result of infringements of the law. The IJJO promotes international development strategies for appropriate policies, legislations and intervention methods within the context of a global juvenile justice without borders. For additional information, visit: www.ijjo.org.
CFYJ is a member of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington and participates in HandsOn Greater DC Cares.
Contact Us[return to top]
CAMPAIGN FOR YOUTH JUSTICE
1220 L Street, NW, Suite 605
Washington, DC 20005
Staff[return to top]
Malcolm C. Young
Interim Executive Director, Ext. 1607
Malcolm C. Young began his legal career as a criminal defense attorney in Chicago, Illinois in 1974 and has over 30 years’ experience directing programs whose objectives are to reduce juvenile and adult incarceration. Young joined the National Legal Aid and Defender Association in Washington, D. C. in 1980 as key staff attorney in a project that established appellate defender programs in four states. In 1986 Young founded and for 19 years directed The Sentencing Project in Washington, D. C., during which time he helped public defenders and the defense bar in more than 20 states establish new sentencing advocacy programs. Under Malcolm’s direction, The Sentencing Project published research and reports and conducted media campaigns that raised national awareness of the cost, racial and class inequities, and human toll of mass incarceration.
From 2005 to 2009 Young directed the John Howard Association of Illinois, an independent prison and juvenile facility oversight organization. Mr. Young was subsequently affiliated with the Bluhm Legal Clinic of Northwestern University’s Law School where, as a Soros Senior Fellow he and a team of students developed model approaches to employment-related prison reentry.
Currently Malcolm is in private practice and consultants on justice issues. Recent projects include a review of pretrial services and subsequent recommendations for innovations in public defender advocacy in bond courts in Cook County, Illinois and an extensive report and testimony as expert witness for plaintiffs’ counsel in a federal civil rights law suit challenging parole revocation proceedings in Illinois.
At Liz Ryan's and the Board of Director's invitation, Malcolm has since 1 January 2014 served as Interim Executive Director overseeing the Campaign’s day-to-day management and operations, mid-term planning and the search for a permanent Executive Director.
Chief Financial Officer, Ext. 1601
Since joining the Campaign for Youth Justice in 2005 Roger has coordinated the organization’s outreach efforts to national organizations, stakeholders and policy-makers.
He is also in charge of the management and operations of the Campaign. Roger has over 15 years of experience as a program coordinator and organizer. Before coming to the Campaign for Youth Justice, he worked as the program coordinator to the Senior Vice President for Product Development and the Senior Vice President for Human Resources at Blackboard Inc., the largest supplier of technology solutions for online education. Previously, Rogert served as the Marketing & Outreach Coordinator for the National Catholic Education Association; a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit organization, where he coordinated a public education campaign on the benefits of Catholic school education. Rogerholds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from American University (Washington, DC), and a MA from St. Thomas Aquinas University (Rome, Italy).
Jessica A. Sandoval
Vice President & Deputy Director, Ext. 1605
Jessica Sandoval, MPA, the Campaign’s Vice President and Deputy Director; is responsible for the development and implementation of organizational priorities, developing and monitoring evaluation systems that ensure effective strategies and programs, and strategic planning and partnerships. As a founding staff member of the organization, she created the Campaign’s communications infrastructure, delivered technical assistance to state campaign partners and led several initiatives that engaged those who oppose prosecuting youth as adults, including affected families and incarcerated youth in reform efforts.
Jessica's career began over 20 years ago in her home state, Colorado, where she worked as the Program Director for the Gang Rescue and Support Project – an organization targeting gang-involved youth in Denver. Ms. Sandoval spent ten years as a volunteer advocate member of the Colorado Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Council. She was originally appointed to the position by former Colorado Governor Roy R. Romer and then re-appointed by former Colorado Governor Bill Owens.
Prior to joining the Campaign for Youth Justice, Ms. Sandoval served as the Program Associate at the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, where she was responsible for providing program and research support in areas related to the needs of out-of-school youth, youth in the juvenile justice and/or foster care systems, and other, older young adults who are not connected to school, work, or caring adults. She has served as the Juvenile Justice Federal Policy Coordinator at the Center for Youth as Resources – a national youth development program – and she was formerly the Policy and Resource Development Specialist for a national youth advocacy group, Coalition for Juvenile Justice. She was recently appointed to serve as a member of the Children and Youth Investment Trust Board of Directors. She also serves a member of the board with the Lagniappe Education Foundation and the Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop
Jessica graduated with a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services, from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Policy Director, ext.1603
As the Campaign’s Policy Director, Carmen assists both state based organizations and national partners in developing policy goals related to criminal justice reform. Before coming to the Campaign, Carmen served as Deputy Director and staff attorney for Advocates for Justice and Education, A DC based non-profit, formed to educate parents, youth, and the community about the laws governing public education, specifically for children with special needs. In those roles, Carmen provided direct representation to families in special education and school discipline matters and also provided training to families on various disability topics. In 2008, Carmen was appointed to the D.C. Mayor's Juvenile Justice Advisory Group where she works with city stakeholders to provide recommendations on district compliance with the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act. She also co-chairs the American Bar Association, Individual Rights and Responsibilities, Public Education Committee which seeks to protect and advance the right of equal access and opportunity to public education for all people. Carmen received her undergraduate degree from Vassar College and her Juris Doctor from Tulane University School of Law.
Aprill O. Turner
Director of Communications & Media Relations, ext. 1604
Aprill is a public relations professional with more than twelve years of experience working with non-profit and corporate clients, as well as elected officials, in the areas of political and communication strategy, message development, media training, crisis communications, branding, and public affairs.
Prior to coming to the Campaign for Youth Justice, Aprill taught public relations and journalism at Morgan State University and Loyola University in Baltimore, MD. She has also been Communications Consultant for the National Association of Black Journalists, Senior Account Executive at CooperKatz Public Relations in New York City, as well as planned and conducted media outreach initiatives for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights. In addition, Aprill has worked on Capitol Hill in several media capacities, including Press Advisor to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, Deputy Press Secretary to Congressman Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts and Communications Director to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy of New York. Aprill has lead media strategy for several local, Congressional and Senatorial campaigns.
Aprill holds a bachelor's degree in legal communications from Howard University and a master's degree in political communication and fundraising from The George Washington University. Aprill is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, the National Black Public Relations Society,and a former board member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Director of Field Operations, Ext. 1602
Angella Bellota is the Director of Field Operations at the Campaign for Youth Justice. She leads the organizations overall state campaign strategy and provides technical assistance to state-based organizations engaged in reform efforts and campaigns. Angella uses her advocacy expertise to build, implement and promote campaign efforts aiming to end the prosecution of children as adults, and to provide capacity building opportunities to the juvenile justice field.
Over the last two years, Angella has provided technical assistance to partner organizations aiming to end the prosecution of children as adults in their state, with a focus on campaign strategy, grassroots mobilization, coalition building and public education.
Prior to joining the Campaign, Angella worked at Action for Children North Carolina, a statewide children’s policy and research organization. In her capacity at Action for Children, Angella led the research team in enhancing the organizations advocacy agenda through the use of research and data, as well as engaging and educating policy makers around child well-being issues. She also led community outreach initiatives and assisted in developing and implementing state and local strategies to build public will for campaigns around juvenile justice, education, and health in under-served communities. Angella received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from California State University, San Bernardino. She holds a master’s degree in Sociology from North Carolina State University, with a concentration in social inequality.
Parent and Community Organizer
Tracy McClard, joined the Campaign for Youth Justice in the summer of 2010. She became a parent advocate for youth justice reform when her 17 year old son committed suicide while incarcerated in an adult facility. Tracy resigned from her teaching job to focus on creating a powerful family-based youth justice organization in Missouri. Tracy has been the Chairperson for National Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM). YJAM is an opportunity for families, youth, and allies to host community-led actions and events that expose the real-life consequences of children being processed in adult court and placed in adult jails and prisons. Recently through Tracy’s organizing efforts Jonathan’s Law was passed, a law that allows more youth to have access to the Dual Jurisdiction program in the Missouri Division of Youth Services.
Alliance for Youth Justice Co-Director
202.200.0604 (Cell phone)
Grace is the Co-Director and a Family Organizer for the National Parent Caucus (NPC). In her leadership role with the NPC she provides timely advocacy and peer-to-peer support among its members. Grace's son was 17 years old when he was sent to the adult criminal justice system. She has been an advocate in Illinois since 2004.
CFYJ Board of Directors [return to top]
Carrie Ann Blewitt
Qorvis Communications LLC
Senior Management Advisor
Founder and President
Eduardo Ferrer, JD
Chief Operating Officer
DC Lawyers for Youth (DCLY)
The World Bank
Chief Legislative Counsel
Office of the Public Defender of the District of Columbia
Alliance of Concerned Men
Dr. Francisco Villarruel, PhD
Professor Family & Child Ecology
Michigan State University
Job Opportunities [return to top]
The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is accepting applications for its Chief Executive Officer Position. Please click here for full job description
Fellowship Opportunities [return to top]
The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is accepting applications for its fellowship program. We accept part-time and full-time interns during the fall and spring semesters (preferring students who can commit to an entire academic year), and full-time interns during the summer (at least an 8 week commitment).
The Summer 2014 Fellowship Application deadline is March 31, 2014. The following fellowship opportunities are currently available for Summer 2014:
Summer 2014 Fellow for State Campaigns
Summer 2014 Fellow for Policy and Research
Summer 2014 Fellow for National Outreach
The Campaign is a Greater Hands on DC partner.