National Youth Justice Awareness Month
October is National Youth Justice Awareness Month! Youth Justice Awareness Month is an opportunity for communities, families, youth, and allies to host community-led actions and events that expose the 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 a listing of 2014 YJAM Events
Click here to learn more about Planning an Event
Click here to donate to YJAM 2014
Visit our blog to keep up with the latest news on YJAM 2014
Click here for our newest publication on Sharing Your Personal Story for #YJAM 2014
Please stay tuned for additional information about YJAM 2014. If you have any questions, please contact Angella Bellota, Field Director:
About National Youth Justice Awareness Month
National Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM) aims to provide people across the country an opportunity to develop action-oriented events in their communities during the month of October. We know that the power for change lies in our communities, so every year during the month of October, people all over the country come together to shed light on an issue that impacts nearly 250,000 youth every year. YJAM grew from a tragedy. One that too many of us see every day – the death of one of our own children.
On the afternoon of January 4, 2008, Tracy, a mother in Jackson, MO, 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 McClard memorialized Jonathan by hosting a 5K race to bring public awareness to the issue and to educate her Missouri lawmakers – to this day, she fights to put an end to these tragedies. Tracy knew the conditions which led to Jonathan’s death and is determined to stop such experiences from happening to another mother’s son or daughter. Her 5K Race in 2008 was just a first step, and today she is an avid advocate in Missouri educating countless numbers of people, including youth, state representatives, and congressional members.
Inspired by Tracy and so many others fighting for justice, the Campaign for Youth Justice launched National Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM). Since 2009, YJAM has grown tremendously every year. Youth, families, students and advocates throughout the country have made YJAM what it is today – a movement to end the prosecution of youth in the adult system.
Whether this is your first YJAM or your seventh, we hope you are inspired to take action. Join us in the movement for youth justice! Together, we can work to ensure that youth are not tried, sentenced, or incarcerated in the adult criminal justice system.
FOLLOW US! We’ll continue to share updates on Youth Justice Month Awareness Month 2014 events and how you can join the movement.
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Help us to make sure YJAM continues to GROW! Donate $5, $10, $50 today and you will make sure that advocates get all the materials and assistance they need to host a successful YJAM event in their community. DONATE TODAY!
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