Home News Center Youth Justice Reform Roundup March 2017

Youth Justice Reform Roundup March 2017

March 23, 2017

youth justice reform roundup


With help from NJJN’s Utah member, Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys, the state passed a comprehensive juvenile justice reform package.  The bill includes a limit on the amount of time that a youth can spend in detention and a cap on fees and service hours that a judge can order.

Speaking of fees, NJJN member the Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project recently worked to end Philadelphia's practice of billing parents for time their children spent in incarceration. 

NJJN member Arkansas Advocates for Children and Familes and NJJN partner, Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth helped to pass legislation that ended juvenile life without parole in the state. 

NJJN member, Kentucky Youth Advocates, helped passes a bill that improves expungement for youth. The bill now heads to the Governor.  

NJ Supreme Court decided that New Jersey was out of compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court's Miller decision demanding that courts take a youth's age into consideration when sentencing to lengthy sentences.  

The Colorado Child Safety Coalition, which includes the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center (an NJJN member), has issued a new report that documents the rampant abuse of restraint and solitary by the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections.   

NJJN’s member, Kansas Appleseed’s coalition, Kansans United for Youth Justice, is celebrating the closure of the Larned Youth Facility with a youth art contest.


NJJN’s member, California Youth Justice Coalition in partnership with Human Impact Partners, issued a new report  Juvenile Injustice: Charging Youth as Adults that outlines the factors that led youth to get transferred to the adult system and the ensuing negative health outcomes for those youth.   Here’s a summary article

And while we’re on the topic of public health, NJJN’s latest snapshot outlines new research that shows how community based supervision can improve public health. 

Youth First!, an NJJN national partner, issued new report, Breaking Down the Walls: Lessons Learned from Successful State Campaigns to Close Youth Prisons that highlights the achievements of youth, families, and advocates in six states to help advance a new vision of youth justice.  They also issued a youth justice reading list: Youth Justice: Recommended Reading.

University of Southern Maine in partnership with NJJN’s Maine member, Juvenile Justice Working Group, issued a new report, "Unsealed Fate," that details the negative outcomes of failing to safeguard youth records.  Read the Report here.  NJJN’s policy platform on safeguarding youth confidentiality is a good companion read

The National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition issued their recommendations for the new Congress: Promoting Safe Communities: Recommendations for the 115th Congress.

The New York Times editorial board referenced brain science in calling for the state to raise the age of jurisdiction to 18.  Building on this brain science research, the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Law and Neuroscience issued a policy brief that argues that young adulthood, (18-21 year olds), merits consideration as a special developmental stage with unique justice responses. 

Coalition for Juvenile Justice’s new report outlines ways to ensure that young people do not experience homelessness as a result of their involvement with the juvenile justice system.  CJJ also issued a report on the essential role of federal funding for youth justice. 

Campaigns and Actions

Please sign a letter of support urging Congress to appropriate adequate funding for youth. Here is the google form where your organization can sign on.  Please disseminate widely.  Deadline for sign-ons: April 3rd

Sign on here to the Save the Kids 2017 5th Annual National Week of Action against Incarcerating Youth.

Interested in knowing what police reform activity is happening around the country?  Here’s a great place to start: Campaign Zero

The Campaign to End Solitary for Kids isued a social media toolkit for the Spike TV documentary on Kalief Browder. 

Housing not Handcuffs Campaign which seeks to end the criminalization of homeless youth is seeking endorsements.


Funding Opportunity

Applications for the J.M.K. Innovation Prize are due on April 28, 2017.  Prizes will go to organizations tackling our country’s most pressing needs through social innovation.  Find out more here.


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