Home News Center Youth Justice Reform Roundup May 2017

Youth Justice Reform Roundup May 2017

May 10, 2017

youth justice reform roundup

Legislative Advances

Nebraska Voices, an NJJN member, worked to pass a number of reforms including graduated response sanctions for youth on probation and limitations on the use of transfer.

The Washington, DC Comprehensive Youth Justice Amendment Act, which passed in Fall 2016, finally became law in April 2017 after fierce advocacy from DC Lawyers for Youth, an NJJN member. The act will keep children out of the adult criminal justice system, reduce over-incarceration and ensure age-appropriate sentencing and confinement.

Advocates for Children and Youth of Maryland, an NJJN member, helped with passage of the Public Schools - Suspensions and Expulsions Act (SB 0651) (passed on April 11, 2017), which prohibits the suspension or expulsion of prekindergarten through second grade students. The ACY also assisted with Establishing the Commission on the School-to-Prison Pipeline and Restorative Practices.

North Dakota passed Juvenile Life without Parole reform legislation. Under the new legislation, individuals sentenced as children to lengthy prison terms are entitled to have their sentences reviewed by judges after they have served 20 years.

Events and Actions

The National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth starts next week, May 15 – May 21. Visit their Facebook page to get updates.

The National Juvenile Defender Center is hosting a Gault at 50 Gala on Monday, May 15 in Washington, DC, to commemorate this landmark ruling and chart the course forward to protect children's civil and due process rights.

The National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives will host a briefing on police-community relations on May 16th in Washington, DC.

Partner News

Watch Youth First’s latest video on the importance of closing youth prisons, which features NJJN members from Connecticut, New Jersey and Virginia.

The ACLU of Wisconsin and the Juvenile Law Center filed a class action lawsuit arguing that the State used excessive solitary confinement in its punishment of children for even minor offenses.

The ACLU of Washington State filed a lawsuit against the Office of Public Defense for failing to provide proper legal representation for children in Grays Harbor County.


The Novo Foundation announced its strategy on advancing adolescent girls’ rights.

Youth Justice New Jersey released a new poll that shows nearly 85 percent of people in New Jersey believe the youth justice system should focus more on prevention and rehabilitation, not incarceration and punishment.

Illinois opened a new “restorative justice” court  for young adults opening in Chicago.  

Grassroots Leadership recently released a report, “Beyond Alternatives to Incarceration and Confinement,” which discusses the need to develop real community-based solutions to incarceration. 

The National Youth Screening and Assessment Partners has released Developing Service Delivery Systems for Evaluations of Juveniles’ Competence to Stand Trial: A Guide for States and Counties.

A new publication by Barry Krisberg, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency, discusses the reformative power of redemptive justice.


Community Law in Action in Maryland, an NJJN member, is seeking an experienced, dedicated organizer to assist its efforts with leading the Just Kids Campaign. The Field Organizer will be responsible for base building and creating a statewide coalition with our community partners in Maryland.

Booz Allen Hamilton is hiring a number of juvenile justice related positions.

The Grassroots Leadership seeks a full-time organizer to join their criminal justice team.

The University of Albany is seeking a Executive Director of their new Youth Justice Institute.

The California Funders for Boys and Men of Color is hiring a Program Manager.

The Alliance for Youth Action is hiring a Development Manager

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