Trending Now: Youth Justice Reform
Twitter users are familiar with Worldwide Trends--popular hashtags of the moment. Fashion aficionados know what’s trending for each season. Trend analysis usually predicts what will happen in the future with consideration of the past. How do advocates, families, and youth make “youth justice” a trend?
On October 10th, CFYJ will release State Trends Legislative Victories from 2011-2013 Removing Youth from the Adult Criminal Justice System which examines the accomplishments of states that enacted laws to keep kids out of the adult criminal justice system. The trend is towards more humane and appropriate treatment of kids in the criminal justice system, yet there is still much work to be done in order to have a justice system that recognizes that kids are different and deserve a chance at rehabilitation over severe sanctions.
Policy makers are catching on to the trend that treating kids like adults is antithetical to research and data showing kids are capable of rehabilitation when placed in appropriate settings. When you look at each state individually, it may appear that these are simply small steps in the reform efforts, however, the reforms as a whole are astonishing—truly a trend over time.
During Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM) we hope to do more than create a buzz—we hope to heighten awareness of the injustice for kids in the adult system and make justice reform an enduring trend. State Trends can marshal other state advocates and policy makers to engage in justice reform because they see what is possible when you work together to create lasting change.
We will be sharing state victories throughout the week and on Thursday, October 10th, we will officially release State Trends. Stay tuned all week to learn more about what states are doing to continue the trend of reform and see if your state is highlighted as one that has successfully decreased the chances of having kids in the adult criminal justice system.