Family Comes First
Support Families with Children in the Justice System
“I cannot describe how horrid it was when my son was jailed as a teenager. Gone, in a minute, were the hopes and dreams. Gone was my child. Gone were the responsibilities of raising my son. Now, it was up to the staff at the facility. Would they take care to shelter him from the other inmates? Would the system care that he was vulnerable, afraid and extremely anxious? As a mother, my desire and obligation to raise my son to be a gentleman were taken away. I have never cried so many tears. Worry was my constant companion. Forever grieving for my son, who was a child in an adult jail. I know that my son will become a man in jail, but I fear for that man. Will he be my son, the silly, kid that went in? I don’t believe so. I am angry. How do I continue being a mom, when the most important element to the equation is missing? My heart has an emptiness that won’t go away. Mother’s Day is for hugs and kisses. Try doing that through a glass panel. No warm, fuzzy feeling; only coldness, like the glass that I touch. I miss my son, more than any words can describe.”
- LR, Parent of an Incarcerated Child
Any person, whether they are a parent or simply had one, knows how important parents are in shaping who their children will become.
Removing a child from his or her home is traumatizing for a kid, and to an entire family. Unfortunately, most justice systems in operation today are not the result of conscious planning or design, and therefore juvenile justice systems have kept families at arm’s length.
This is why the Campaign has written Family Comes First, a workbook that provides a comprehensive analysis of current family engagement and family partnership practices in juvenile justice systems around the country and recommendations from family members and stakeholders.
This workbook fills the gap in research and policy by providing a clear and intentional guide to transforming the justice system by taking a family-driven approach. However, in order for families to truly become a part of their children’s rehabilitation, we need to make sure legislators and juvenile justice stakeholders receive copies. For this reason, we are asking our supporters this Mother’s Day to support the Campaign for Youth Justice Family Comes First Mother’s Day Campaign.
But we need your help to make sure that this report gets in the hands of the people who can make sure that families are an integral part of their kid’s lives.
By donating a small amount , you can ensure that copies of this manual make it into the hands of parents stakeholders across the country. Here is what your generosity will support:
• $50 – Family Comes First Supporter – As a Family Comes First Supporter, you will receive a Limited Edition Family Comes First Pin. Your support will send two Family Comes First manuals to family members of youth who have been or are currently incarcerated.
• $100 – Family Comes First Partner – As a Family Comes First Partner, you will receive a Limited Edition Family Comes First Pin. Your support will purchase five Family Comes First manuals to family members of youth who have been or are currently incarcerated.
• $200 – Family Comes First Companion – As a Family Comes First Companion, you will receive a Limited Edition Family Comes First Pin and a free copy of Family Comes First. Your support will send ten Family Comes First manuals to family members of youth who have been or are currently incarcerated.
Thank you so much for your generous support of the Campaign for Youth Justice over the years. It is because of donations like yours that the Campaign for Youth Justice has been able to assist in reforming justice laws in states across the country. We believe we are headed into a new age of juvenile justice. It won’t be easy, and we are by no means there yet, but we are trending toward reform.
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 Justice1012 14th Street, N.W., Suite 610Washington, DC 20005
If you are a federal employee, please consider a donation through The Combined Federal Campaign for the National Capitol area at: http://cfcnca.org/
Thank you for your time and consideration! Let's work together to stop the inhumane, unjust, and ineffective policies affecting youth across the country!
The Campaign for Youth Justice