Happy New Year! There’s a lot to look forward to in 2018: Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Connecticut all have plans to close youth prisons!
Connecticut: The Connecticut Juvenile Training School is set to close by July, and the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance is holding the state accountable and working with lawmakers to reform the system.
Jeffrey Roman of Youth Justice Milwaukee calls for the closure of Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake at a press conference.
Wisconsin: Under intense pressure from Youth Justice Milwaukee, Governor Scott Walker announced plans to close the notorious youth prison, Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake. Since 2011, families and young people have been fighting to close these horrible youth prisons, which are remotely located and under federal investigation for abusing young people. Read more in this op-ed by YJM’s co-founders: Don’t wait to close Lincoln Hills.
Activists rally at the launch of New Jersey Institute for Social Justice’s campaign to close youth prisons.
New Jersey: Former Governor Chris Christie announced plans to close not one—but two of the state’s youth prisons: Jamesburg and Hayes. Last year, advocates with the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice launched a new campaign to close youth prisons, with 400 people rallying outside the gates and calling out the racial disparities in New Jersey’s juvenile justice system. Some of the state’s youth prisons are over 150 years old and community advocates are letting the state know that it’s time to leave the 1800s!
This latest news is great way to kick off 2018 and we are working hard to keep the momentum going and keep our lawmakers on track to follow this trend. We are on the way to a better, more justice system. Thanks to all for your continued hard work, and let’s keep the pressure up!
The Youth First Team