Youth Justice Awareness Month Comes to a Close, but Efforts Will Continue

Posted by Lisa Martinek
October 31, 2013

Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM) aims to bring awareness to the consequences of placing youths in adult facilities. Over the past month, there have been blog posts, reports and events all pertaining to this topic. Below are some of the highlights.

YJAM was started in 2008 by Tracy McClard whose 16 year old son had died in an adult facility. Since YJAM’s inception, organizations, families and advocates have hosted a variety of events to raise awareness.

Campaign for Youth Justice released State Trends Legislative Victories from 2011-2013 Removing Youth from the Adult Criminal Justice System, which documents legislation that helped to remove youths from adult facilities.

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) plays an important role for keeping youths out of adult facilities and other issues pertaining to juvenile justice such as racial and ethnic disparities.

Although YJAM focuses on youths in the adult system, other issues are also important such as the implementation of PREA.

State reform efforts and national policies provide great information, but you can also learn about juvenile justice issues directly from youths.

Numerous organizations have held events supporting YJAM over the month of October such as film screening, gallery exhibits, forums and walk/runs.

Even though the month is coming to a close, we must continue to raise awareness and stay informed on the important issues that YJAM has highlighted.