The CFSY utilizes a multipronged approach to reform including serving as a hub and convener; engaging key stakeholders; educating target audiences; advocating for reforms; bolstering legal strategies to ban life-without-parole sentences for children; and developing a wide range of partnerships to provide access to resources and opportunities for returning individuals and their families to prosper. We know we are stronger when we are in partnership learning from one another.
At the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, we lead and support campaigns to ban life without parole and other extreme sentences for children. In partnership with those directly impacted by these policies, we build coalitions, educate key decision makers and influencers through the media and in-person meetings, negotiate with key stakeholders, and advance reforms that ensure youth receive second chances.
The CFSY centers the expertise of individuals directly impacted by the injustices we work to resolve – chief among them, individuals formerly or currently incarcerated as children for serious crimes, victims of crimes committed by children, and the families of both. Central features of this effort include responding to 100% of correspondence we get from people serving extreme sentences, and acting in our convener role to establish networks of people with shared experiences. We also value the insights we gain from their lived experiences, and partner with them to develop their skills and elevate them as movement leaders. During in-person convenings and regular conference calls, we provide support and information on diverse topics, ranging from advocacy basics and media training to self-care strategies to help heal from the pain wrought by their experiences. Just as importantly, we support them as they advance reforms by sharing their stories with decision makers and advocating directly for needed change. The Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network (ICAN) and National Family Network are among these affiliations.
Do you have a loved one who is serving a life without parole sentence for a crime committed when they were under the age of 18, or are you a family member of a person who died as a result of youth violence? We can help you connect with family members via the National Family Network.