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Dear Friend,

As summer begins, we celebrate new beginnings for so many of our juvenile lifer partners who were sentenced to die in prison, and who have recently been released. We are humbled to have welcomed home nearly 20 juvenile lifer partners in the past months who have been resentenced and have rejoined our community on the outside. 

Thank you for standing in solidarity with the hundreds of people who Philadelphia sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole when they were children, and with young people who continue to be charged as if they were adults. You help us bring hope, and opportunity, for new beginnings. We are truly grateful for your support.

With gratitude,
Lauren Fine & Joanna Visser Adjoian
YSRP Co-Directors 

 

Miller, Montgomery and Mitigation

YSRP Co-Directors wrote an article on mitigation in the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' journal The Champion

This week, the PA Supreme Court made it much harder to sentence a child to life without the possibility of parole in our state.

On June 26, the Court unanimously decided Commonwealth v. Batts, which, among other things, requires the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a youth is incapable of rehabilitation before he or she can be sentenced to life without parole. Read more about the case here, and congratulations to our partners at Juvenile Law Center & the Defender Association of Philadelphia, who worked on the case! 

On Wednesday, June 21st, Eddie McCrary, Jr. embraced his friend when he walked out of prison after 37 years behind the wall.

 

We shared a photo of Eddie and his supporters, including YSRP Mitigation Specialist Annie Ruhnke, in our last communication to you. Eddie left the State Correctional Institution at Chester, and we know he is eager to start the next phase of his life. Read more about Eddie's story in our annual report (p.20-21).

 

YSRP's Joanna Visser Adjoian & Dana Cook of Atlantic Center for Capital Representation (ACCR) hosted a webcast about mitigation + reentry sponsored by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. 

Watch the full webcast here

 

YSRP Mitigation Training increases YSRP's capacity to work on "juvenile lifer" cases.

Learn more about the training here.
Donate Here

Do you have gently used men's clothing destined for a new life? YSRP is accepting donations to outfit men returning to Philadelphia after decades of incarceration. All sizes are welcome. Contact Lauren Fine at lfine@ysrp.org to arrange a drop-off. 

Congratulations to the Graduates!
In the last month, both young men pictured below graduated from high school. As well, both were charged as adults at just 15 years old. Each had their case removed from the adult system to the juvenile justice system. Both prove that young people should be given age-appropriate opportunities to grow, heal and thrive. The YSRP family is immensely proud of Dimir and Eugene!
Congratulations & Farewell
to Program Associate
Nadia Kale
 
YSRP is deeply grateful to Nadia Kale who has generously volunteered with YSRP for the last 10 months. An invaluable member of the YSRP team, Nadia has supported juvenile lifers as they return home, working alongside them to write their resumes and apply for jobs; expertly providing mitigation and reentry planning support for multiple YSRP client partners who are currently incarcerated; and coordinating records requests for attorneys representing hundreds of people who, as children, were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Most notably, Nadia has gracefully played a lead role in creating an online Reentry Navigator for juvenile lifers, their family members, attorneys and other supporters, which we will soon share publicly. Nadia will begin the next chapter in her professional journey as a law student at the University of California at Berkeley this fall. Although we will miss her greatly, we cannot wait to see all that she accomplishes as a new lawyer!
 
Thank you, Nadia, for your thoughtfulness, diligence, humility, leadership and light. Onward! 
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Copyright © 2017 Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP), All rights reserved.


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