This year's Youth Justice Action Month (YJAM), cohosted by OJJDP, the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ), and the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN), featured numerous activities designed to inspire action and elevate the voices of young people impacted by the justice system.
OJJDP and its partners kicked off YJAM with a webinar, "Youth Justice Action Month: Creating Brighter Futures for Our Nation's Youth," followed by a virtual dinner that brought together youth advocates, youth justice leaders, and professional athletes to discuss juvenile justice reform and support for youth impacted by the justice system. Youth also participated in the relaunch meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, where Department of Justice leadership and Council members had an opportunity to listen to their concerns and recommendations.
"We need to hear from young people who have lived experiences with the juvenile justice system. After all, we cannot truly serve young people unless we listen to them and engage them in this work."
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta
The capstone event for this month-long observance was a dynamic and informative youth panel discussion. OJJDP Administrator Liz Ryan and OJJDP staff heard from CJJ's Emerging Leaders Fellows and NJJN's Young Justice Leaders, who presented their recommendations to improve youth justice outlined in their action plans, 2022 Recommendations to the Administration and Redesigning Justice: Our Youth Action Agenda.
Following their presentation, youth panelists had an opportunity to discuss their recommendations with OJJDP’s senior leadership and hear a special recorded video message from artist and advocate John Legend, who thanked them and other youth advocates for their hard work and dedication during YJAM and throughout the year.
- Watch the "Youth Justice Action Month: A Message from John Legend" video.
- Read YJAM blog posts by OJJDP Administrator Ryan.
- View YJAM videos "Youth Justice Action Month: Why We Act" and "Youth Justice Action Month: Creating Brighter Futures for Our Nation’s Youth (webinar)."
- Follow OJJDP on Twitter and Facebook.