Philadelphia City Councilmembers Helen Gym and Kenyatta Johnson penned an op-ed in the Philadelphia Daily News late Monday evening calling on all current candidates for the office to think holistically about the need for rehabilitation and services for our city’s young people swept up in the system. YSRP signed onto this op-ed, along with our partners at the Youth Art and Self-empowerment Project, the Defender Association of Philadelphia, Education Law Center, Juvenile Law Center, Black Clergy of Philadelphia and other partners to urge all candidates for the top office to consider the following:
We have an obligation to change the system. In this election, we have the chance to do it by demanding that our next district attorney reject policies that ensnare thousands of young people – particularly black and brown youth – in an inhumane system, and instead put Philadelphia on a path toward true juvenile justice.
This is much more than lip service. The next district attorney will have vast discretion over every phase of the juvenile justice process, from investigation to charging to trial to sentencing and supervision.
If we want to see real reform for young people, the next district attorney must lead the way.
Join YSRP and our partners on May 2nd at 4pm at Ben Franklin High School, 550 N. Broad Street, to hear directly from the candidates themselves. YSRP Co-Director Lauren Fine will be moderating along with Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region’s CEO Marcus Allen.