"There's No Excuse" Campaign Calls on Governors to Protect Youth from the Dangers of Adult Jails and Prisons

National Week of Action: May 12- 16, 2014

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| Source: Campaign for Youth Justice/ Justice Policy Institute

WASHINGTON, DC, May 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Campaign for Youth Justice is currently having a national week of action around the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), a piece of federal legislation, unanimously passed, with the intention of ending sexual violence behind bars. This is the same legislation that Gov. Rick Perry declared a few weeks ago that his state of Texas will not be in compliance.

This week, Thursday, May 15 is the date that states must show compliance. The Campaign for Youth Justice has a week of activities with our partners to ensure states show they are coming into compliance.

More here: http://bit.ly/1mSKmjN

We also have a report coming out next week on Direct File in DC. I will send you an embargoed copy tomorrow.

It is a busy time in the juvenile justice arena, we would love to discuss with you. Please let me know if you would like to speak with us about either of these items.

Aprill O. Turner
Communications and Media Relations Director
Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ)
1220 L Street, NW, Suite 605
Washington, D.C. 20005
O: (202) 558-3580
M: (202) 779-2810
Web: www.campaignforyouthjustice.org

CONTACT:
May 13, 2014 Aprill O. Turner
O: (202) 821-1604
aturner@cfyj.org

National Week of Action: May 12- 16, 2014

"There's No Excuse" Campaign Calls on Governors to Protect Youth from the Dangers of Adult Jails and Prisons

Youth Justice Advocates Lead Effort to Ensure States are in Compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act

The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ), a national advocacy group dedicated to ending the practice of trying, sentencing, and incarcerating, youth under the age of 18, as adults is leading the charge this week to ensure states are in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act. CFYJ has joined thousands of individuals and organizations that will be calling on their governors to cease the practice of placing youth in adult jails and prisons in order to comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).

Passed unanimously by Congress in 2003, PREA restricts the placement of youth in adult jails and prisons. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) adopted a standard that restricts the placement of youth in adult facilities and safeguards children in these facilities.

This week, by May 15, 2014, Governors must begin auditing detention and correctional facilities to ensure full compliance with PREA or risk losing a percentage of federal funding allocated for justice programs in their state, by complying with the following:

Banning the housing of youth in the general adult population;

Prohibiting contact between youth and adults in common areas, and ensuring youth are constantly supervised by staff; and

Limiting the use of isolation which causes or exacerbates mental health problems for youth.

Governor Rick Perry was highly vocal last month that the state of Texas will not become in compliance with this federal law. CFYJ is asking Governors to certify compliance with PREA's Youthful Inmate Standard by removing youth from adult jails and prisons, or at a minimum, asking Governors to dedicate federal dollars to come into compliance with the Youthful Inmate Standard.

It is crucial that governors fully protect children from the dangers of adult jails and prisons. Rather than try to segregate children from adults in adult jails and prisons which often leads to solitary confinement, governors should implement best practices by removing youth from adult jails and prisons.

"The PREA standards will protect hundreds of thousands of kids prosecuted in the adult system every year, and get us one step closer to completely removing youth from adult jails and prisons" said Carmen Daugherty, Policy Director for CFYJ. "We hope that as states implement these important standards they use this opportunity to reconsider the practice of trying youth as adults overall."

Every year, about 250,000 children are exposed to the dangers of the adult criminal justice system. These federal regulations represent the first time the U.S. government has created national standards to eliminate sexual abuse in prisons, jails, juvenile detention facilities, community corrections facilities, and police lock-ups.

Please visit CFYJ's fact sheet on the Prison Rape Elimination Act, by visiting here: http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/preac.html
 
Join the conversation on #ImplementPREA #EndPrisonRape. Follow CFYJ on Twitter and Facebook.
 
The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is a national organization dedicated to ending the practice of trying, sentencing and incarcerating youth under the age of 18 in the adult criminal justice system.

For more background on this issue, please visit www.campaignforyouthjustice.org.
 

Aprill O. Turner
O: (202) 821-1604