Since 2008, youth justice advocates around the country have come together each October for YJAM to organize events and online activities to raise awareness and inspire action on behalf of young people impacted by our criminal justice system.
It is time for real action. The youth criminal legal system is far from just. Despite lowering crime rates and a global pandemic putting everyone’s health at risk, youth remain over policed, over incarcerated, and over criminalized, pushing predominately Black and Brown children into a system that causes irreparable harm. We can do better-- for youth, families, communities, and public safety. This year, we are focused on Acting to End Racism: Pursuing Equity through Policy.
This October is a time for advocates across the spectrum of our community to connect virtually with each other, while taking steps more locally and beyond to fight for the issues that matter most to youth. We invite you to TAKE ACTION in the following ways:
1. Attend a workshop: Each week NJJN and CJJ will co-host a workshop on an issue we must tackle to build a better future for young people. Weekly topics include: Week 1: Protecting Childhood: Policies to Keep Youth out of the Justice System, Week 2: Treat Kids Like Kids: End the Adultification of Youth, and Week 3: Fund Care not Cages: Investing in Families and Communities. Learn more about the workshops and register today.
2. Contact your legislators: Make your voice heard by participating in our virtual hill week October 18th- October 22nd. Sign up to receive trainings and resources to maximize your visit.
3. Share a video: Amplify calls for change by sharing a video on why we need youth justice reform now. Note funds are available for youth submissions. Videos will be shared throughout October. Click here to learn more about how to make and share your video.
4. Host a local event: Keep the conversation going in your community by hosting an event in your area. Not sure where to start? Check out this event planning guide and pointers on successful strategies. Have something planned? Let us know about your events so we can amplify your work on this website.