The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee voted to advance HB 1381 today, which YSRP hopes will usher in a more humane era of support and care for youth involved in the criminal legal system.
On Tuesday, May 2nd, YSRP co-sponsored a District Attorney candidate forum on juvenile justice at Ben Franklin High School in Philadelphia. YSRP Co-Director Lauren Fine moderated the forum alongside Marcus Allen, the CEO for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Independence Region. The forum covered a lot of ground and had the DA candidates go on the record about where they stand when it comes to our young people. Young people directed questions to the candidates, including in the format of real case scenarios, on issues like mandatory minimums, charging youth as adults, diversion programs, police in schools, child trafficking, and much more. YSRP was thrilled to partner with Councilwoman Helen Gym and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who hosted the forum, alongside partner organizations Juvenile Law Center, Education Law Center, the Philadelphia Student Union, Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY), the Defender Association of Philadelphia, the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, the Support Center for Child Advocates, the University Community Collaborative, Philadelphia Youth Commission and the Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project. The Philadelphia Public School Notebook covered the event here, and interviewed YSRP partner and former juvenile lifer Norman Bryant, who shared that “if people don’t come out to vote in smaller elections like the local primaries, and hold elected officials to their word, things are less likely to change.”