FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COMMUNITY TOWN HALL TO BE HELD IN OAKLAND ON ENDING YOUTH INCARCERATION AND UNFAIR TREATMENT IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM
Criminal justice systems officials, elected officials, formerly incarcerated youth, and the community will build partnerships and discuss alternatives to youth incarceration.
Oakland, California — On Thursday November 30, 2017 at 6:00pm at the West Oakland Youth Center youth leaders from the Positive Youth Justice Initiative (PYJI), an initiative jointly led by two Oakland-based community organizations – Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) and Urban Peace Movement (UPM), are holding the “Dream Beyond Bars” Youth Justice Town Hall that will explore closing youth prisons and building up alternatives to youth incarceration.
The town hall features a panel of youth directly impacted by the juvenile justice system, a panel of professionals in the field of juvenile justice and responses from government officials who will be present at the event, such as the Chief of Probation, Wendy Still and District Attorney, Nancy O’Malley.
“I was incarcerated and in the system at a young age and had to overcome a lot to be where I am today,” remarked Kamani Holmes, who is part of the Positive Youth Justice Initiative and on staff with Urban Peace Movement. “The system didn’t give me much support to get my life back on track. They never took the time to ask me what I really needed. Youth need support and they need alternatives to have a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s why I’m doing this work now so that others don’t have to experience what I went through.”
The PYJI consists of young adults from Alameda County who have embarked on a community based participatory research project to develop strategies and solutions to build community capacity for alternatives to youth incarceration. They are part of a campaign called “Close Youth Prisons, Build Youth Leaders” that is calling for community-driven and community-based alternatives for youth.
“We know that investing in the leadership of young people will create better outcomes for the youth themselves and for our whole society,” said Xochitl Larios, a youth leader from PYJI and Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice. “We know this because we are the young people who experienced this first-hand and we know what we needed to be successful. Investing in youth leadership saves money for the government, helps young people overcome trauma, and it gives youth a better chance to be successful in life. It’s just common sense.”
WHAT: Dream Beyond Bars: Juvenile Justice Town Hall
*Free Community Event*
WHEN: Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 6pm-8:30pm
WHERE: West Oakland Youth Center 3233 Market Street Oakland, CA 94608
The Positive Youth Justice Initiative (PYJI) is a youth leadership group in Oakland comprised of members from Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) and Urban Peace Movement (UPM) who are formerly incarcerated and directly impacted by the issues of criminalization and mass incarceration.
For more info visit: www.curyj.org and www.urbanpeacemovement.org