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Federal Update

Senators Harris and Wyden Speak Out for Incarcerated Youth

Kathryn Allen, CFYJ Communications Fellow Monday, 01 June 2020 Posted in 2020, Federal Update

Written By Kathryn Allen, CFYJ Communications Fellow

On May 26th a group of 14 U.S. Senators led by Kamala Harris (D-NY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), sent a letter to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The correspondence outlines concerns for the protection of incarcerated youth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2019 Federal Wrap Up

By Rachel Marshall, CFYJ Federal Policy Counsel Friday, 13 December 2019 Posted in Federal Update

The start of 2019 was an exciting one for juvenile justice advocates – coming off the reauthorization of the of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), the possibilities for reform in the 116th Congress felt endless. As outlined in the National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition’s (NJJDPC) recommendations to the new Congress, we urged Congress to build on the momentum of the JJDPA reauthorization by embracing a positive vision for youth justice reform; ensuring developmentally appropriate responses to justice-involved youth; reducing reliance on detention and incarceration, instead investing in communities; ensuring fairness, equity, and safety for justice-involved youth; and helping youth successfully re-enter their communities.

As the first session of the 116th Congress comes to an end, let’s see whether Congress took up any of our recommendations:

2018 Campaign For Youth Justice Federal Update

By Rachel Marshall, CFYJ's Federal Policy Counsel Thursday, 20 December 2018 Posted in CFYJ Updates, Federal Update

Putting the year in perspective.

By Rachel Marshall, CFYJ's Federal Policy Counsel

As 2018 comes to a close, the Campaign for Youth Justice has been reflecting on what a great year it’s been for young people across the country. While there have been a lot of victories on the state level, it has been a surprisingly good year for reform at the federal level, despite an otherwise gridlocked government and some rollbacks from the current administration. Below is a short summary of what Congress and the federal government has been up to this past year:


Reinterpreting Flores: What does this mean for the detention of minors?

Katie Rankin Wednesday, 03 October 2018 Posted in Federal Update

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Campaign for Youth Justice is supporting a series on the impact of federal and state youth justice policies and practices and their disparate impact on Latinx families. This is the second blog in our series. 

By Katie Rankin,  CFYJ Research and Policy Legal Fellow

On September 18, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs held a hearing on The Implications of the Reinterpretation of the Flores Settlement Agreement for Border Security and Illegal Immigration Incentives. The Flores Agreement sets forth a policy that requires immigrant children be released from detention to a parent, guardian, relative, or a designated party without delay. The agreement also sets forth standards on conditions for facilities in cases where a child cannot be released to a parent or guardian. Critics believe that this agreement creates incentives, or loopholes, for minors and family traveling with minors to cross the border illegally because minors must be treated differently.

Is it Enough? The Implementation of PREA’s Youthful Inmate Standard

Jeree Thomas Tuesday, 04 September 2018 Posted in 2018, Federal Update

By Jeree Thomas, CFYJ Policy Director

This September marks the 15th Anniversary of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), a federal law enacted to address the problem of sexual assault and rape in U.S. detention centers, jails, lock ups, and prisons.  Regulations for the law specifically address one of the most vulnerable populations in adult jails and prisons: youth under age 18.

PREA’s Youthful Inmate Standard was developed to create a minimum standard that protects youth in adult facilities from being raped or sexually assaulted by requiring that youth are held in housing where they are sight and sound separated from adults.  The standard also requires supervision when youth are outside of housing units with incarcerated adults. The challenges associated with keeping youth sight and sound separated under the standard has helped contribute to a growing number of state legislatures passing bills to create a presumption or a requirement that youth under 18 are held in juvenile placements even when they are prosecuted as adults. 

Families Belong Together: The U.S. Has a Long History of Removing Children From Families

Rachel Marshall Friday, 13 July 2018 Posted in Federal Update

Children Don’t Belong in Cages, They Belong in Communities

By Rachel Marshall, Federal Policy Counsel

For the past 15 years, research has shown that when children are separated from their families there are lifelong negative consequences. The stress children experience when separated from their families can lead to an increased risk of numerous diseases, depression, substance abuse, and early mortality. Despite this knowledge, more than 2,000 children, including breastfeeding babies and toddlers, have been forcibly removed from the care of their parents.

The “Families Belong Together” Movement

Uyen Nguyen Tuesday, 10 July 2018 Posted in Federal Update

By Uyen Nguyen, Operations and Development Fellow

“Families Belong Together” is the movement responding to the current administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that separates undocumented children from their parents at the U.S.– Mexico border. Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the “zero-tolerance” approach toward undocumented immigrants, the U.S. government has separated at least 2,000 children from their parents.

Fighting to Prevent LGBTQ+ Erasure by the Department of Justice

Harmeet Kamboj Tuesday, 26 June 2018 Posted in 2018, Federal Update

By Harmeet Kamboj, Communications Associate

June is Pride Month, a time during which the LGBTQ+ community celebrates an array of identities that have long been rejected by mainstream culture and politics. But while rainbow flags fly across the country, LGBTQ+ people face increasing erasure as the Trump administration takes strategic steps to hinder data collection for and about this community. Most recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has made initial efforts to revise portions of the National Crime Victimization Survey by eliminating questions about gender identity and sexual orientation among 16- and 17-year-olds surveyed by the department.

At the Border: Scapegoating Immigrant Youth is Not the Answer to Ending Gang Violence

Rachel Marshall Tuesday, 19 June 2018 Posted in 2018, Federal Update

By Rachel Marshall, Federal Policy Counsel

Animals.” “Menace.” “Blood-stained killing fields.” These are all terms President Donald Trump used in a one-week period to describe undocumented immigrants, alleged members of MS-13 and the purported harm they are causing our country. The White House doubled down on these assertions by releasing an official statement titled, “What You Need to Know About the Violent Animals of MS-13.”

Giving Young People the Second Chance They Deserve

Harmeet Kamboj Wednesday, 18 April 2018 Posted in 2018, Federal Update

By Harmeet Kamboj, Communications Associate

Earlier this month, President Trump signed a presidential proclamation declaring April “Second Chance Month.” This proclamation follows a 2017 bipartisan Senate resolution that called on Americans to “observe Second Chance Month through actions and programs that promote awareness of collateral consequences; and provide closure for individuals who have paid their debts.” After incarcerated people serve their sentences and leave the justice system, their past continues to haunt them by making education, employment, and housing nearly impossible to attain. This month – and always – we must do our due diligence to provide currently and formerly incarcerated Americans with a second chance to build stable and fulfilling lives as productive members of society.

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