Home News Center Meet the New Members: Califoria Alliance for Youth and Community Justice

Meet the New Members: Califoria Alliance for Youth and Community Justice

March 12, 2015
Zoe Schein


The California Alliance for Youth and Community Justice (CAYCJ), an NJJN member, is a coalition of organizations and individuals from across the state of California working together to drastically reduce incarceration and improve outcomes for system-involved youth.

In existence for just two years, CAYCJ has nearly 40 organizational and 15 individual members from all over California -- the most populous state in the nation, and one of only four states where people of color comprise the majority of the population.

“There’s such a sea change in California, in terms of the political climate, the population make-up, and the public’s awareness of our over-reliance on incarceration,” said Pat Arthur, co-director of CAYCJ. “Despite challenges to collaborative work in California, including most importantly the sheer size of the state, youth justice advocates and organizations have rallied around the idea of creating an alliance.”

Members of the Alliance voted to focus their attention on ending the inhumane practice of charging and incarcerating youth as adults in the state

“These are exciting times in the youth justice reform movement. Organizations and people are working together to achieve significant progress,” said David Muhammad, co-director of the CAYCJ.

CAYCJ brings together organizations from a broad spectrum of advocacy approaches; its members are multi-racial, multi-generational, and geographically diverse.

“We intentionally wanted to create an alliance of diverse organizations that together provide a multi-disciplinary approach to youth justice issues in California. We are comprised of policy and legal advocates, community organizers youth advocates, and research specialists.” Arthur said.

Though CAYCJ has only recently joined NJJN, Arthur herself is no stranger to the network. “I’ve seen NJJN become a strong resource for people around the country; I feel it’s important to contribute to that. I admire NJJN’s work and the role it plays in strengthening, supporting and exposing the good work going on in the states around the country. It feels good to be a part of that.”

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