Maureen Washburn (headshot) on policy and communications team at Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

More States Need to Halt Prosecution of Youth as Adults

This month marks one year since the passage of Proposition 57, a California ballot measure that prohibited district attorneys from filing charges against youth as young as 14 directly in adult criminal court through a practice known as “direct file.” The initiative passed with 64 percent of the vote, signaling strong popular support for curtailing prosecutorial authority and expanding access to the rehabilitative benefits of the juvenile justice system.

New York’s March for Justice

They were white and black, young and old, gay, trans and straight, putting themselves on the line for what the organizer called the civil rights movement for the 21st century.

Civil Rights, Chi and a Full Moon

The first time I met the organizer of the March for Justice she told me to shut up. She put it more politely, but that was the meaning all the same.

I was milling about in the lobby of the Beacon Light Tabernacle Seventh Day Adventist Church in the Hudson Valley in New York state half-asleep, chatting with marchers about what in the hell would bring them out on a cold, rainy early Sunday morning when I heard it.

March Activists Urged to Keep ‘Paying Attention’ at Final Rally

At the midpoint of the 180-mile March for Justice, its organizer, Soffiyah Elijah, was overwhelmed. She was simultaneously trying to find the proper turn on a back road in a Hudson Valley town, coordinate with the caretaker of a 105-year-old woman who wanted to join the march and figure out where to find a laundromat that would stay open late.