On Tuesday, October 29, we want to encourage states to change their laws to get in line with JJDPA requirements and prohibit ALL children from ever being held in an adult jail. Using the hashtag #NoChildInAdultJail, post photos, videos, or anything creative to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and/or Twitter calling on your state to keep children out of adult jails. You can tag CFYJ - @justiceforyouth - or your state’s governor, or any other elected officials you feel should know about this, including local or county officials.
When the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) was re-authorized at the end of 2018, it included a requirement that, within three years, all states must keep ALL children out of adult jails—including those charged as if they were adults. Since 1980, federal law required youth pending delinquency charges to be removed from adult jails; but the law fell short of protecting youth facing adult charges. This loophole means that many states still allow children facing adult time to be jailed with adults, or (as in New York and Connecticut) held in facilities run by the adult-side corrections departments.
This is very harmful for children!
“Unlike juvenile detention facilities, adult jails are not designed with a focus on rehabilitation, and staff receive little or no training on the social, emotional, or psychological needs of children, nor do they provide adjustments to physical techniques used to control older inmates.” - R. Marshall (2019). Removing Youth from Adult Jails: A 50-State Scan of Pretrial Detention Laws for Youth Transferred to the Adult System. Washington, DC; Campaign for Youth Justice.
Here’s a map of states that do and do not allow children pending adult charges to be jailed with adults. If your state is one that keeps all youth in age-appropriate facilities (those in green) – congratulations! – you can submit a post recognizing or celebrating that fact.