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Law Enforcement's Leadership Role in Juvenile Justice Reform: Actionable Recommendations for Practice & Policy

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 Posted in 2014, Research & Policy

New Resource:  Law Enforcement’s Leadership Role in Juvenile Justice Reform: Actionable Recommendations for Practice & Policy
 When a young person gets in trouble with the law, oftentimes arrest, court referral, and detention run counter to public safety by making it more likely that young person will reoffend.  IACP’s National Summit on Law Enforcement Leadership in Juvenile Justice drew attention to the often untapped potential of law enforcement executives to improve their agencies’ response to young people and to serve as credible voices for “smart on crime” juvenile justice reforms in their communities and beyond.

NEW REPORT- State Trends: Updates from the 2013-2014 Legislative Session

Friday, 12 September 2014 Posted in 2014, Research & Policy

CFYJ released a new report today, State Trends: Updates from the 2013-2014 Legislative Session. The report takes a look at states that have, and are taking steps to remove children from the adult criminal justice system.

State Trends documents the continuation of four trends in justice reform efforts across the country to roll back transfer laws in the country, from arrest through sentencing. Building on efforts from the last decade, states continue to amend and eliminate harmful statutes and policies created in the 1990s that placed tens of thousands of youth in the adult criminal justice system. In 2014, advocacy, research, operative Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) regulations, and fiscal analysis assisted in the introduction of bills in nine states to remove youth from the adult criminal justice system and give youth an opportunity at more rehabilitative services.

The JJDPA (Still) Matters: Celebrating 40 Years of Reform

Jill Ward Monday, 08 September 2014 Posted in 2014, Across the Country

This post is part of the JJDPA Matters blog, a project of the Act4JJ Campaign with help from SparkAction. The JJDPA, the nation's landmark juvenile justice law, turns 40 this month. Each month leading up to this anniversary, Act4JJ member organizations and allies have posted blogs on issues related to the JJDPA. To learn more and take action in support of JJDPA, visit the Act4JJ JJDPA Matters Action Center, powered by SparkAction.

On Sept. 7, 2014, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA)—the nation’s main law governing state juvenile justice programs—turned 40. This week, advocates from across the country will be taking time to reflect on the importance of this landmark federal law and how it can be made even stronger.

Meet CFYJ's 2014 Fall Interns

Samantha Phillips Friday, 05 September 2014 Posted in 2014, Voices

From left to right: Samantha Phillips, Courtney Thomas, Dayana Morales Gomez, Reneeta Polson
The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is pleased to introduce our 2014 Fall Interns.

Save Money, Save Kids: Why the JJDPA Matters

Tuesday, 02 September 2014 Posted in 2014, Research & Policy

Just this month, the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) released a brief entitled Juveniles in Residential Placement, 2011, which includes data from a one-day census of the number of youth incarcerated in youth prisons or in private residential institutions in the United States.

According to this report, on any given day, 2,239 of the youth counted in residential placement are there for status offenses—which the report defines as “behaviors that are not law violations for adults, such as running away, truancy and incorrigibility.”

Youth Justice Awareness Month Support Tools - Plan Your Event Today!

Thursday, 28 August 2014 Posted in 2014, Across the Country, Take Action Now, Voices

As Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM) quickly approaches, the Campaign for Youth Justice wants to assist you in putting on your event - starting now! Along with the toolkits and templates available on our YJAM page, the CFYJ team has developed a set of tutorials on what it takes to host a successful YJAM event. Tips ranging from hosting any size event, FUNdraising, and even how to plan a 5K Race!

An Appeal to End Trying Youth as Adults

Roger Ghatt and Samuel Wilkins Friday, 22 August 2014 Posted in 2014, Take Action Now

Protecting children is fundamental. Even youth who commit serious crimes deserve a chance at rehabilitation. The U.S. Supreme Court, the Centers for Disease Control and mental health experts stress the need for children, with their still-developing brains, impulsive nature, and increased vulnerability to negative influences, to be treated differently. Adult jails and prisons have insufficient educational opportunities, psychiatric services, vocational training, and other essential services in order to meet the needs of still developing youth.  Youth are also at an increased risk for sexual assault and suicide while in adult criminal justice facilities. That’s without mentioning the barriers to successfully reentering society like limited access to education, employment, housing, and democratic participation. Furthermore, studies overwhelmingly have shown that youth who do adult time are much more likely to reoffend, in comparison to those youth who are housed in the juvenile justice system or in their home communities. When youth are held accountable within a system that is age-appropriate and rehabilitative, research shows they generally outgrow their criminal behavior and become participating members of society. Are we really willing to define a teenager by his/her worst act and invest tens of thousands of dollars in making them a better criminal?

"Raise the Age" Victory in New Hampshire: More Kids Treated as Kids

John DeJoie Thursday, 21 August 2014 Posted in 2014, Across the Country, Campaigns

 By Guest Blogger, John DeJoie
NH Kids Count
NH CAN Coordinator/Policy Consultant 

Are 17 year olds really old enough to be sent to adult prisons? In NH, since 1995, the answer has been YES. Over the past decade, as states across the US have recognized that 17 year olds are still children, NH was unwilling to change. Since 2000, Representative David Bickford (R ) attempted to “Raise the Age” without much support, that is until this year. Following on the heels of a successful restoration of the CHINS (Children in Need of Service) statute and funding, the same group of advocates set their sights on modernizing the juvenile justice system in NH, including Raising the Age.

Rev. Laura Downton and CFYJ Fellows Discuss the Dangers of Solitary Confinement

Friday, 15 August 2014 Posted in 2014, Across the Country, Voices

On Wednesday, July 30, the fellows of Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) held their second Summer Institute session featuring guest speaker Reverend Laura Downton, of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). Rev. Downton is the current Director of U.S. Prisons Policy & Programs at NRCAT, and she also serves on the Board of Directors for Grassroots Leadership and is a Provisional Elder in the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. The CFYJ fellows were joined by interns from the Justice Policy Institute, Washington Peace Center, and students from American University, Georgetown University, and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who are current interns in Washington, DC.

Understanding the School to Prison Pipeline

Tuesday, 12 August 2014 Posted in 2014, Across the Country

CFYJ’s first Summer Institute session focused on the School to Prison Pipeline. Kaitlin Banner, a staff attorney at the Advancement Project, informed us about youth whose futures are being destroyed by a system that pushes them from the education system to the prison system. Additionally, she emphasized ways to dismantle this pipeline, and taught us essential tools to become true advocates for change.

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