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2021 Youth Policy Advances

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Our 2021 Youth Policy Advances marks an annual opportunity for us to reflect on the progressive steps we’ve taken towards building a true vision of justice for young people grounded in our understanding that to improve public safety and set youth on a path to success, we need policies that invest in young people’s full lives.  

Fully realizing that vision requires us to address the racial disparities that pervade our youth legal system from beginning to end. We know these disparities are not random, but rather are rooted in the history of white supremacist systems created to surveil, oppress and control Black and Brown youth. This year’s Advances calls us to fully commit to dismantling the racist underpinnings of our nation’s youth legal systems. When we do, we find a greater path that offers healing for all young people and an opportunity to respond to trauma-informed behaviors with dignity, humanity and fairness. 

Advances brings into collective focus how far we’ve come in our fight for youth justice transformation and what’s possible when we work collaboratively through community organizing, policy advocacy and narrative change. It also provides a roadmap to see where we need further action.