Archive for September, 2010

An article published in Lynchburg newspaper The News and Advance on Thursday, September 23rd, explains that Shandre Saunders, a teenage who was sentenced last year to serve time in an adult prison, will have his case considered on appeal by the Supreme Court of Virginia. The Court will be addressing the issue of jury sentencing versus judge sentencing in the cases of youth convicted as adults.  For the full text of the article, click here.


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An article published on Thursday, September 23rd in The Macon County News explains that North Carolina’s Youth Accountability Planning Task Force, along with several advocacy groups, is seeking to raise the age that children can be tried as adults from 16 to 18. Their goal is supported by many individuals working within the justice system, as well as studies that prove adult prison is less effective at deterring individuals from committing future crimes and harmful to underage children sent to adult prison. To read the full article published in The Macon County News, click here.

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“Congress has just 10 days to move forward fundamental federal juvenile justice legislation that will protect our most vulnerable children. Help keep children out of adult jails, end the over-incarceration of youth of color in the justice system, and devote more resources to effective juvenile justice programs that protect our young people and keep our communities safe.

Reauthorization of this important law is nearly 4 years overdue and Congress is scheduled to adjourn on October 8, leaving just 10 days for them to act.

Children and teens already caught up in the system can’t wait another day.


Urge Congress to pass a reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act this year by signing the petitions below:

·         Sign the House of Representatives Petition

·         Sign the Senate Petition

Help us reach our goal of over 15,000 signatures by the end of September by forwarding this Action Alert to your networks.

Learn more by visiting http://www.act4jj.org  or by viewing this video clip.”

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A Washington Post article released yesterday explains scientists’ work to measure how the brain matures. The study reveals that this new type of scan can differentiate between the development in the brains of adolescents and the development in the brains of adults with 75% accuracy.

For the Washington Post article, click here.

For the full conclusions of the neurological study, published in Science journal, click here.

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Don’t Throw Away the Key advocates turned out in large numbers for Wednesday’s meeting of the Virginia State Crime Commission. Thank you to those of you who made it to the meeting!  It was made clear to the members of the Commission that there are many individuals who feel passionately that our system of trying youth as adults needs reform.  The results of the Crime Commission’s study up to this point are available here.  The staff will present their final findings at the December 8th meeting of the Commission. The Commission members will also vote on policy recommendations at that time. So mark your calendars for December 8th at 10 a.m. to be in Richmond!

There was a lively and informative discussion of the issues at the meeting. We would like to specifically thank the individual advocates who spoke in favor of reform.  We would also like to thank the Virginia Bar Association’s Commission on the Needs of Youth and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association for their remarks in support of increased judicial discretion.

The meeting was covered by the Richmond Times Dispatch and the article is available here.

Be on the lookout for future advocacy opportunities from the Don’t Throw Away the Key Campaign!!

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Just a reminder, The Virginia State Crime Commission Meeting is on Wednesday, September 8th in Richmond. Check out the links below for more information. If possible, please RSVP on the Facebook events page and invite all of your friends!



This is a very important meeting, so please come out to show your support for juvenile justice reform!

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