To commemorate the closing of the Larned Youth Prison and Youth Art Month, Kansans United for Youth Justice today launched an art competition to raise awareness of juvenile justice reform.
The competition will feature original submissions in a variety of media from youth ages 10-22, who are asked to portray the theme of Youth Justice and a world where none of their peers are thrown behind bars. Winners in three age categories (10-13, 14-17, and 18-22) will be announced Monday, April 24th. Artwork will be judged on the following criteria: creativity, artistic merit, portrayal of the “youth justice” theme, and student artist statement. The deadline to submit is Friday, April 14th.
“Today’s closure of the Larned Youth Prison is an important example of how Kansas is leading the way to reform the youth justice system,” said Matt Conklin, an advocate with Kansas Appleseed. “Instead of simply locking up kids, we need to ensure our communities have the resources they need to address youth offenses more effectively. Incarceration is the most expensive and least effective strategy to get our kids on the right path and to keep our communities safe.
“We hope this competition will give students a creative outlet to show how they see themselves as well as their peers being affected by youth incarceration that can guide our state’s continued work to reform the juvenile justice system.”
To submit an entry, applicants should email photos of their submission (or, in the case of written or spoken art, email a copy or file of the piece) to Art@KansasAppleseed.org, along with artist statement of no more than 250 words, name, age, and contact information. The panel of judges will review the submissions to determine finalists and top-prize winners who will then be invited to display their work. More information on the competition can be found at http://www.kansasappleseed.org/youthart.html.
Kansans United for Youth Justice is a nonpartisan grassroots coalition dedicated to ending the practice of sending low and moderate-risk youths to prison or other outside confinement, and advocating for intensive, community-based rehabilitation programs as an alternative to youth incarceration. To learn more, visit: www.kansansunitedforyouthjustice.org and follow @KSUnited4YJ.