National Youth Justice Awareness Month Starts Now

Posted by Kim Godfrey
October 01, 2013

Please spread the word: another wonderful example that we can create change and improve how we respond to youths who get into trouble. The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) has declared October to be National Youth Justice Awareness Month, or Y-JAM 2013, inspired by a mother who brought public awareness to the real-life consequences of youths processed in adult courts and placed in adult jails and prisons.

CFYJ, with the amazing leadership and dedication of Liz Ryan and her team, have a proven track record of educating the public, the media and elected officials about young people who get into trouble and come into contact with both the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Their tireless efforts create leaders, momentum and change that benefit youths and families. CFYJ was inspired declare October the month for youth justice awareness by a Missouri mother, Tracy McClard, who held a 5K race in 2008 to bring focus to the issue of youths in adult facilities and educate her lawmakers. Now similar events happen in 20 states.

This is part of the exciting momentum right now sweeping across the country, uniting all of us working in juvenile justice, to use research, best practices and cost-effective investments to respond and serve at-risk and delinquent youths, their families and communities. We at Performance-based Standards (PbS) appreciate and applaud the work of CFYJ and Tracy McClard and are inspired and encouraged to continue our work making sure juvenile facilities treat all youths in custody as one of our own.