Join the Movement to Educate Your Community about Youth in the Adult Criminal Justice System

by Shanta Gray

How did you find out that youth are tried in the adult criminal justice system in the United States? Have you ever wondered if the average person knows this, or, more importantly, how they can learn about it?

Consider planning an event for National Youth Justice Awareness Month. Events across the country over the last four years have helped to educate the public, legislators and the media about the dangers to our kids and public safety of this practice.

Have you ever wanted to know if you could plan a 5k race or a movie screening? Have you ever looked at an event and said, "they must have over 100 volunteers to help with that event." It is easier than you think. National Youth Justice Awareness Month is around the corner, and you could be a part of this epic event. Last year, more than 20 organizations and individuals organized events with approximately 1,500 participants in 15 states.

Join the Campaign for Youth Justice on April 11, from 1 – 3 pm EST, to talk about strategies on planning a Y-JAM event. Tracy McClard, the original founder of Y-JAM will be the host of the call. Tracy started her 5k race in 2008 after her son committed suicide; she wanted to bring public awareness to the juvenile justice issues and to educate her Missouri lawmakers.

If you are interested in this two-hour strategy session in April, please email me at Do not worry if you cannot make the entire call. You can remain on the call for as long as you like.

The post above is reprinted with permission from the Campaign for Youth Justice’s blog.

Shantá Gray is the Program Coordinator for the National Parent Caucus at the Campaign for Youth Justice. Ms. Gray began her career at the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a stay-in-school student, where she was responsible for the Freedom of Information database and website. She then was promoted to be the Administrative Assistant for the Director of Libraries, where she was responsible for coordinating and setting up high level conference calls, board and management meetings, and special events and travel arrangements for top executives. Ms. Gray was then employed by The Interfaith Alliance, which she was responsible for their Field Activism, Project Management, and Event Planning. Ms. Gray graduated from the Prince George’s Community College in 2002 with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice, and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology at Bowie State University in 2004.



*Photo at top by Flickr user brixton