Youth Justice Awareness Month 2018

02 October 2018 Published in What's New?

Did you know...October is Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM)!

The Campaign for Youth Justice helped launched YJAM in 2008, to bring awareness to the need for reform in juvenile justice systems throughout the country, and to educate the public about the amazing capacity for change possessed by each and every young person regardless of their system involvement. The establishment of YJAM began with the tragic suicide of a 17-year-old youth who was incarcerated in an adult prison; his mother was determined to work for reforms so that other children would not be lost in the same way. 

Utah began celebrating YJAM as "Juvenile Justice Awareness Month" back in 2015, when Governor Herbert signed a proclamation declaring October to be recognized as such. This recognition kicked off a statewide commitment to juvenile justice reform, which has already yielded positive outcomes for Utah youth. Since 2015, Utah juvenile justice system actors and advocate have gathered in October to publicly acknowledge those within the juvenile justice system who advocate for youth and press for improvements.

This year, we are excited to be celebrating, with our many community and government partners, the sweeping positive reforms to Utah's juvenile justice system that began in 2016, and the potential for ALL kids to be amazing leaders and community members!

We will be recognizing Utah State Representative Sandra Hollins and Ogden High School Counselor JuleeAnn Rivera as our Youth Advocates of the Year for 2018. We will also be honoring several Emerging Leaders: young people who are currently, or have recently have been, in the juvenile justice system but have shown tremedous personal growth and leadership potential. 

We hope you will join us on October 18, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.  for a low-key YJAM celebration with art, awards, refreshments, and a cutting-edge youth facility in Ogden!  Additional details and directions to the event location are provided upon RSVP. 

RSVPs are required for this event, to ensure that we have space for all our guests, but there is no cost to attend! 

For those who are interested, tours of the new Weber Valley Youth Center will be offered for those who sign up when RSVPing. This innovative new design is trauma-informed and embraces the most recent research in what works for kids who are struggling.