Policy Updates

President Obama Addresses Justice Issues During National Reentry Week

by Melanie Garunay White House Blog During his weekly address, President Obama highlighted his Administration’s efforts to build a fairer and more equitable criminal justice system. The Department of Justice has designated April 24-20 as National Reentry Week. Read the story and stream the video here. Learn more about National Reentry Week here.

National Campaign Launch: Stop Solitary for Kids

Stop Solitary for Kids is a national campaign to end solitary confinement of youth in juvenile and adult facilities in the United States. The campaign is a joint effort by the Center for Children’s Law and Policy, the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, and the Justice Policy Institute. TheRead More

Illinois, Connecticut Propose Bills to Raise the Age to 21

by Zoe Schein National Juvenile Justice Network March 24, 2016 For some time, research on young adults’ brain development has overwhelmingly agreed that young people’s ability to assess risk and clearly judge the consequences of their actions is not fully developed until their mid-20s. This research has led many youth justice advocates to challenge theRead More

Public Strongly Favors Prison Reform, Surveys Find

by Ted Gest The Crime Report February 18, 2016 Justice reform activists say that new polling reinforces their contention that a solid majority of Americans support their goals of imprisoning fewer non-violent offenders and doing more to rehabilitate criminals. The surveys were released yesterday by the U.S. Justice Action Network, a bipartisan coalition that has beenRead More

Getting Youth out of the Adult Criminal Justice System

from the Public Welfare Foundation March 14, 2016 Around 11:30 pm on December 31, 2008, Tyrone and a friend were heading to their respective homes in Baltimore to watch television as the ball dropped in New York’s Times Square. They cut through a familiar park and planned to make a quick stop at a convenienceRead More

D.C. Bill Would Adopt Public Health Framework for Prevention of Violent Crime

Zoe Schein February 18, 2016 On February 2, 2016, the D.C. City Council cleared the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (NEAR) Act (B. 21-0360) in the first of two council votes. Introduced by Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, the NEAR Act received enthusiastic support from local youth advocacy groups, including D.C. Lawyers for Youth (DCLY), an NJJN member. IfRead More

Message to U.S. Senate: Why the JJDPA Matters

by Starcia Ague Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice February 16, 2016 On February 12,  the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA)—the nation’s main law that sets standards and protections for state juvenile justice programs—very nearly passed in the Senate. One lone member of the U.S. Senate held up passage ofRead More

CA Gov. Brown to seek November ballot initiative to relax mandatory prison sentences

by John Myers LA Times January 27, 2016 Almost four decades after he signed a law mandating strict sentences for the most serious crimes, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday moved to ease its effect, proposing inmates convicted of nonviolent offenses be given a chance at early release. “Let’s take the basic structure of our criminal lawRead More

Ballot Measure Would Reform Juvenile Justice

Lets Judges, Not Prosecutors, Decide on Trying Youth as Adults from Fair Sentencing for Youth January 27, 2016 California Governor Jerry Brown announced a smart and humane ballot measure on January 27, 2016, that would dramatically reform both juvenile and criminal justice laws in the state, Human Rights Watch said today. If enough signatures areRead More

Yesterday Was a Huge Day for Youth Justice. Tomorrow Could Be Even Better

by Lisa Pilnik, Deputy Executive Director, Coalition for Juvenile Justice; Marie N. Williams, Executive Director, Coalition for Juvenile Justice January 26, 2016  “How can we subject prisoners to unnecessary solitary confinement, knowing its effects, and then expect them to return to our communities as whole people? It doesn’t make us safer. It’s an affront toRead More

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