Tag Archive for Campaign for Youth Justice

Juvenile Justice Matters on Blog Talk Radio

Let’s start the new year off with a great resource that I just discovered.

Juvenile Justice Matters is an online radio program produced by the Campaign for Youth Justice. The CYJ is a national organization dedicated to ending the practice of trying, sentencing and incarcerating youth under the age of 18 in the adult criminal justice system, a cause we whole-heartedly support. This radio show features experts, young people, and parents discussing juvenile justice issues.

As we strive to move forward on this issue one of our best resources is information. This show is not only a rich source of pertinent info, but it is also fantastic for bringing a multiplicity of perspectives to the table. Here are a few sample shows for you to try out, if you enjoy them share them with your friends. After all, the more of us have good data at hand the easier time we will have in trying to implement effective programs.

Let’s beging with an interview with New Orleans Judge David Bell discuss juvenile justice reform  and a model that other judges should consider when sentencing kids.

Listen to internet radio with JJ Matters on Blog Talk Radio

Another great example of their work is a discussion with Michael Kemp, a formerly incarcerated youth from the Washington, D.C. area. Michael is determined to turn his life around and break the vicious cycle of returning to prison. Michael was charged as an adult at the age of 17, but first ran into the system at 12.

Listen to internet radio with JJ Matters on Blog Talk Radio

Go browse through their old shows, they only seem to produce about one show a month but it’s well worth the wait.

Do you know of other online resources that we have not touched on as yet? If so please share them with us in the comments!

National Youth Justice Awareness Month

Justice, 50 Fleet Street, London You may not be aware of it, but this month is the fourth annual National Youth Justice Awareness Month. Sponsored by the Campaign for Youth Justice October is a busy month across the U.S. Events and activities geared towards raising awareness and civic involvement with youth justice issues are occurring across the states of our Union. The main focus being  the incarceration of minors in the American prison system.

The creation of a Missouri mother named Tracy McClard whose son committed suicide while incarcerated in an adult prison.  He was 17 years old at the time. Now she is in charge of  Families and Friends Organizing for Reform of Juvenile Justice and she has a lot to say on the subject of kids in prison. James Swift, who writes for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange quotes her as follows:

‘One reason why we started the National Youth Justice Awareness Month is because [the general public] doesn’t understand what it’s like to have a child in jail at all,’ McClard said. ‘If you don’t know what it’s like, it’s real easy to approve of policies that you don’t understand or know the statistics about.’

McClard believes that the overall lack of knowledge on this issue is not limited to the general public. Policy makers need to become informed as well, particularly those adopting a “though on crime,” stance. Here are more of her words on the subject as quoted in Mr. Swift’s column:

McClard encouraged those in favor of adult sentencing for minors to examine recent data and statistics. ‘Look at the studies, everything that’s out there,’ she said. ‘It doesn’t make society safer and it doesn’t make the public safer.’

‘It damages families, it damages youth, and there is nothing positive about it,’ McClard stated. ‘Everything about it is wrong.’

Campaign for Youth Justice Media Director Eric Solomon has stated that there are over a quarter million youths that are tried, sentence, and incarcerated as adults on an annual basis. He also supports McClards stance on educating policy makers, especially in light of new research such as the recent Annie E. Casey Foundation report which comes down squarely against juvenile incarceration.

These issues are in the spotlight this month, so far there are events across sixteen states, and plentiful information available for those who might wish to kick off an event of their own between now and the end of the month.

For the sake of our children, get involved.