In April 2014, a sixteen-year-old transgender girl of color and trauma survivor was placed in an adult correctional facility by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, which claimed the young woman was too violent to be housed elsewhere. Despite the fact that she had not been charged with or convicted of any crime, Jane Doe remained in the adult prison for two months, much of it in solitary confinement, before being transferred and subsequently placed in a juvenile detention facility for boys.
During the CJJ Annual Conference, Raul Barreto of California was awarded the 2015 Spirit of Youth Award for his personal triumphs, professional achievements, and extraordinary services to others. His acceptance speech was extremely moving and a highlight for all who attended the conference.
By Lisa Lambert & Meri Viano
Family involvement is a key component to keeping youth in the community and doing better overall. In Massachusetts, the DYS Family Voice project supports, trains and engages parents whose children are involved in the juvenile justice system. Created through a partnership between a family-run organization and the Department of Youth Services, the Family Voice project is shifting the culture, often one person at a time, to seeing families in a strengths-based way as well as providing family voice from the ground up to strategy meetings.
The Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) envisions a nation where fewer children are at risk of delinquency; and if they are at risk or involved with the justice system, they and their families receive every possible opportunity to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.