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RISE for Youth

8 West Leigh Street
Richmond, VA 23220

Web: https://www.riseforyouth.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rise4Youth/
Twitter: @RISEforYouth

Valerie Slater, Executive Director
Email: valerie@riseforyouth.org

James Braxton 
Email: james@justice4all.org

Organization Profile

RISE for Youth is a nonpartisan campaign in support of community alternatives to youth incarceration with the goals to:

Increase the likelihood that youth will become law-abiding adults by investing in community- based alternatives to juvenile justice system involvement;

Reduce the number of youth arrested, referred, under the supervision of the Department of Juvenile Justice or committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice;

Close Virginia’s juvenile prisons and re-invest savings from their closure into evidence-informed, community-based alternatives that will keep youth at home with their families and communities and keep communities safer; and

Build a true continuum of evidence-informed placements for youth that cannot safely remain in their homes.

Source: https://www.riseforyouth.org/about/campaign-overview/

JustChildren, Legal Aid Justice Center

1000 Preston Avenue, Suite A
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Phone:  434-977-0553
Web:  https://www.justice4all.org/justchildren/justchildren-program/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LegalAidJusticeCenter
Twitter: @LegalAidJustice

Angela Ciolfi, Legal Director
Phone:  434-529-1810
Email: angela@justice4all.org

Amy Woolard
Email: Amy@justice4all.org

Organization Profile
The Legal Aid Justice Center’s JustChildren Program is Virginia’s largest children’s law program. We rely on a range of strategies to make sure that Virginia’s most vulnerable young people receive the services and support they need to lead successful lives in their communities.

We provide free civil legal representation to low-income children statewide who have problems with the education, foster care, and juvenile justice systems. While the kinds of cases we take vary, our primary objective is to protect our clients’ right to stay in their communities and in their schools, and to live in safe situations. The children we represent have a wide variety of needs.

To make sure that more clients have strong support, we produce widely read and valued training materials for lawyers and parents alike, and travel throughout the state training parents, lawyers, and other child-serving professionals to become informed and skilled advocates.

To further strengthen the communities we serve, we support local organizing efforts and coalition building in the communities we serve. We have helped parents and community members start groups in Richmond and Petersburg that are dedicated to improving educational opportunities for children in those cities.

The JustChildren Program seeks local and statewide reforms to improve the systems that our children depend on. We change policies to improve public education and the juvenile justice system. Through coalition building, policy advocacy, and litigation, we make lasting improvements for all children in Virginia.

Virginia Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Youth

Jana White, Juvenile Justice Advocate
Email: jana.vacfsy@aol.com

Organization Profile
The Virginia Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Youth was founded and is run by a family member of a juvenile lifer who became the voice for all Virginia juvenile lifers and defacto lifers. We strive to bring awareness of the extreme sentencing practices placed on our children in Virginia. We believe in a child's ability to rehabilitate. We believe in holding children accountable in age appropriate ways never sending them to die in prison. We hope to ban juvenile life without parole in Virginia and across the U.S.


jeree-thomas_juvenile-justice-reformJeree Thomas

Policy Director
Campaign for Youth Justice



Areas of Expertise: School to prison pipeline; de-incarceration; transfer of youth to the adult criminal justice system

Bio: Jeree Thomas is the Policy Director at the Campaign for Youth Justice. Before joining the Campaign, she was a Skadden Fellow and attorney with the JustChildren Program of the Legal Aid Justice Center in Richmond, Virginia where she represented incarcerated youth experiencing education and reentry issues. Jeree also served as the Campaign Manager of RISE for Youth, Virginia’s youth de-incarceration campaign. Jeree received her B.A. in Social Justice & Community Advocacy and Religious Studies from the College of William & Mary, and her law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. Jeree is an alum of the Youth Justice Leadership Institute of the National Juvenile Justice Network, and was the 2016 inaugural recipient of the Youth Justice Emerging Leader Award.

Valerie Slater                                             

Executive Director
RISE for Youth


Sheba Williams

Locale: Virginia
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