YJAM Events Promote Awareness Statewide, Builds Momentum for Legislative Change
The growing, statewide support for treating all of Michigan's justice involved youth in an age and developmentally-appropriate manner was on full display during the month of October!
As detailed in our last newsletter, Governor Rick Snyder proclaimed October as Michigan Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM) for the fourth year in a row. This year’s proclamation coincided with the introduction of bipartisan legislation aimed at keeping youth out of the adult system and its correctional facilities.
To promote YJAM in Michigan, Raise the Age campaign partners hosted six well-attended events in cities across the state (Detroit, Grand Rapids, Holland, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Flint). The events, which featured over 300 participants, highlighted the following topics:
- An overview of youth in the adult system, from advocates and justice system professionals (Lansing panelists included the Ingham County Sheriff, County Prosecutor, and a juvenile probation officer)
- Life stories of 17-year-olds convicted as adults
- Details of the legislative package designed to reduce the number of youth forced into the adult system
-Information detailing how to get involved in the Raise the Age campaign.