National Youth Justice Awareness Month 2013
October is National Youth Justice Awareness Month! Youth Justice Awareness Month 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. With events happening throughout the country, YJAM is not only a time to raise awareness but also a time to build collective action, to strengthen relationships with other advocates, and to join local advocacy campaigns working to create policy changes.
Click here for the YJAM Press Release
Click here for a listing of 2013 YJAM Events
Click here to learn more about Planning an Event
Click here to donate to YJAM 2013
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About National Youth Justice Awareness Month:
On the afternoon of January 4, 2008, Tracy McClard, a mother in Jackson, Missouri, received a call from the Missouri Department of Corrections. The call was to inform
her that her seventeen-year-old son, Jonathan, was dead. Jonathan had taken his own life upon realizing that an adult sentence made it impossible to see a future for himself, especially a future that included his dream of becoming a doctor. Jonathan McClard was one of the thousands of children that end up in the adult criminal justice system every year. His future and the future of others like him are forever changed by adult convictions that put up barriers to education, housing, and employment.
Tracy knew the conditions which led to Jonathan’s death and was determined to stop such experiences from happening to another mother’s son or daughter.
In 2008, she began a 5K Race to bring public awareness to this issue and to educate her Missouri lawmakers. She joined the Alliance for Youth Justice, a project organized by Campaign for Youth Justice, and shared her vision of events that would be held in every state in the country promoting youth
Her enthusiasm was contagious and now, just five years later, twenty state campaigns will be holding community events to raise
public awareness. Last year, with Tracy’s help, four new states held
successfulevents which drew a great deal of media coverage.
Within a few short years, Tracy has educated countless numbers of people, including youth, state representatives, and congressional members. In addition to these barriers, children like Jonathan face bleak living conditions where they are 36 times more likely to commit suicide and are the most vulnerable population at risk of sexual assault.
Inspired by her work, the Campaign for Youth Justice declared October to be National Youth Justice Awareness month.
FOLLOW US! We’ll continue to share updates on Youth Justice Month 2013 events and how you can join the movement.
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Donations can be made online or by check. To donate online, click the button below:
To donate by mail, please make your check out to "Campaign for Youth Justice" and mail to:
Campaign for Youth Justice1220 L Street, N.W., Suite 605Washington, DC 20005