May 2015 Newsletter: Reflections, Updates & Events
A Note from the Founders
As we reflect on the recent events in Baltimore and across the country, and mourn the tragic murders of Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Michael Brown, and countless others, we are reminded more than ever of the importance of our work to keep children out of the adult justice system. We are emboldened in our mission to lift up the humanity of every child on whose behalf we work, particularly the young black men who are disproportionately represented in our dehumanizing justice system. We stand in solidarity with the young people across the country who, in the words of Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, are engaging in peaceful and productive rallies "that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come."
Joanna Visser Adjoian and Lauren Fine
YSRP Co-Directors and Co-Founders
YSRP does not just support individual children. We support their mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts in our efforts to provide comprehensive support before, during, and after incarceration. This holistic support is captured by this photo of one of YSRP's clients and her mother during a recent visit at a juvenile facility. Our client's placement at this juvenile facility was a result of our advocacy, and we also helped to facilitate the visit, which would not have been possible if she was incarcerated in an adult prison.
We are proud to support our clients and their families as they resiliently navigate the adult and juvenile justice systems. We are firm in our belief that by supporting families of incarcerated young people, we are working to strengthen family networks that are critical to the young person’s successful reintegration to the community upon release from incarceration.
Shop & Support YSRP
As we celebrate this Mother's Day, please consider supporting YSRP by shopping at Amazon Smile. With every purchase you make at this link, Amazon will donate to the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project. Or, you can make a tax-deductible donation here in honor of your mother, grandmother, or other loved ones.
We are thrilled to announce that YSRP has been awarded a $3,000 grant from The Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative of the Bread & Roses Community Fund, a donor-advised fund that provides grants for criminal justice reform activism. Their incredible generosity supports our efforts to increase the opportunities available to children throughout the justice process by providing intensive, individualized support.
The Philadelphia Social Innovations Lab has selected YSRP to participate this fall as part of a network of compelling social ventures that provides mentoring and encourages collaboration.
YSRP was recently featured on Generocity.org, the platform for social impact in Greater Philadelphia. The article highlights the $125,000 grant YSRP received from The Barra Foundation's Catalyst Fund, which supports our mission to serve as a resource for youth in the adult criminal justice system.
Volunteer Spotlight: Special Thank You
We are tremendously grateful to Charmaine Butler, who has been volunteering with YSRP since October 2014. Charmaine is a Legal Secretary at the law offices of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, LLP, as well an active member of the Bible Way Baptist Church. She became involved with YSRP after reading about us in The Legal Intelligencer, and has since been working to compile supportive resources for youth as they navigate the reintegration process. Charmaine also volunteers for the American Heart Association and the Emergency Preparedness & Response/Medical Reserves Corp. (MRC) of Delaware County.
June 8: Joanna Visser Adjoian will present on a panel at the Beyond the Walls: Prison Healthcare & Reentry Summit at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The session is titled "Young People in Adult Court: Crafting Innovative Approaches and Building a Youth Movement to Break the Pipeline."
You, too, can help improve life outcomes for court-involved youth.