According to the Campaign for Youth Justice, approximately 250,000 youth are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated in the adult criminal justice system each year. As a result of the collateral consequences of these adult convictions, children sentenced in the adult system have diminished access to economic opportunity and limited resources dedicated to successful reintegration to the community. Based out of Philadelphia, the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP), improves outcomes for kids charged as adults by training and supporting attorneys at sentencing and by empowering youth and their families throughout incarceration and upon release from prison.
YSRP’s vision of social change is informed by the belief that the criminal justice system can be a dehumanizing force in the lives of the most vulnerable in our society, and that there is a particular need to bring humanity into the process of charging and sentencing individuals when they are children facing time in adult prison. YSRP strives to remind the courts that kids are kids, who need ageappropriate supports and services, and who are deserving of opportunities to improve. To read the full article about all of the work YSRP is doing go to ABA Children and the Law Committee Newsletter.