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August 2015 Newsletter: Reflections, Updates & Events
A Note from the Founders: YSRP Turns 1!
Dear Friends, 

This summer, the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project celebrates its first anniversary! YSRP has had a busy year supporting children and families, advising attorneys, and partnering with community groups and other stakeholders to improve the representation of kids in adult court. 


As we celebrate this milestone, we are grateful for your continued support of our work. We could not have launched YSRP successfully without you. Thank you for helping us grow and for allowing us to provide vital services and advocacy on behalf of youth and families in Philadelphia! 

Onward, 

Lauren Fine and Joanna Visser Adjoian
YSRP Co-Directors and Co-Founders


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Case Snapshot: Moving Out of the Adult System & Thriving 
Ever wonder what YSRP does in individual cases? This recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer describes our work in several cases. One case it does not mention is that of *Brian, pictured here.

Brian is 15 years old and faced charges in the adult criminal justice system for an attempted armed robbery with a bb gun. Brian was held at the adult jail for over 3 months before he was able to go home on bail (his bail was initially set at $200,000). Since he's been home, YSRP has helped him get into Rock*A*Delphia Summer Day Camp where he could explore his passion for music (pictured here), connected him with counseling services and also volunteer programs in his community, including a neighborhood farm (Urban Tree Connection).

In support of Brian's defense attorney, YSRP submitted a report about Brian's life history (including his challenges and triumphs), along with a detailed reentry plan, for the court to consider in deciding whether Brian's case should remain in the adult system, or move to the juvenile system.  We were successful, and the Judge decided to send his case to juvenile court, where it belongs. We continue to provide support to Brian, his family, and his attorney as his case now moves through the juvenile court system.

*Please note: YSRP does not use clients' real names in our publicity out of respect for their privacy.
YSRP in the Media
YSRP was featured on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer last week. The article described that YSRP "is dedicated to improving the outlook for youths in the adult criminal justice system and advocating for alternatives to prison" and that the organization is "acting as the dogged advocates these teens often lack."
YSRP Co-Director Lauren Fine joined Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Juvenile Law Center Deputy Director and Chief Counsel Marsha Levick on WHYY's Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane on Tuesday, August 18 at 10am. Lauren added YSRP's perspective abouve kids in the adult criminal justice system to a discussion about juvenile justice reform. Listen to the recording here!  
YSRP Featured at TEDxWalnutStWoment

YSRP Co-Director Lauren Fine gave a TEDx talk on mitigation, language and labeling, and youth in the adult criminal justice system, as part of the TEDx WalnutStWomen conference.

Watch the video here!

 

YSRP Hosted Film Screening
YSRP co-hosted a screening of 15 to Life along with the Pennsylvania Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (PACFSY). 15 to Life chronicles the life of Kenneth Young, who was 15 when he was sentenced to life without parole in Florida. The screening was held in conjunction with additional screenings across the country, and a live-stream panel discussion from Capitol Hill led by our colleagues at the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth.
YSRP Intern Spotlight: Next Generation Leaders!
YSRP was delighted to host two very talented High School interns during the spring and early summer months. Daaimah Stancil and Julia Stern (pictured below) contributed their dedication to supporting teens involved in the justice system, along with a tremendous amount of knowledge, research and organizational skills. Thank you, Julia and Daaimah for all of your hard work! 
Daaimah Stancil spent the spring semester with YSRP through Hardy High School's Internship Program.
Julia Stern spent the early summer with YSRP as part of her Senior Project at Friends' Central School.
YSRP Plans Bench-Bar CLE Session

Please join us in Atlantic City for the Public Interest Section's CLE at the annual Philadelphia Bar Association Bench-Bar conference. On Friday, October 16, at 4:30 p.m., YSRP presents "It's Not All Bad:  Examining the Delivery of Legal Services and the Administration of Justice to Low Income Communities from a Strengths-Based Perspective," featuring:    
  • Hon. Charles Ehrlich, Court of Common Pleas – Criminal
  • Prof. Kara Finck, Univ. of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Prof. Rachel E. Lopez, Drexel Univ. Thomas R. Kline School of Law
  • Robert K. Reed, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pa
  • Anita Santos-Singh, Philadelphia Legal Assistance 
Click here for more information & to register!
 
You, too, can help improve life outcomes for court-involved youth.
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YSRP Mailing Address:
123 South Broad Street, 24th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19109