WHAT: All across the country organizations, groups, collectives, mosques, synagogues, community centers, bookstores, schools, clubs, churches, recreation centers and temples have organized daily events which will occur in their communities during the 4th Annual National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth. The goal of these events are to raise awareness about the school to prison pipeline and ending the incarceration of all youth.
HISTORY: The National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth (NWAAIY) was founded in 2013 to dismantle the prison half of the school-to-prison-pipeline. The National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth is a project which is run solely by volunteers and it is organized by hundreds of groups and individuals around the United States.
GOALS: Another world is possible, and it begins with community based programs and alternatives such as rehabilitation, therapy, counseling, job readiness workshops, tutoring, more community programs and centers, and transformative, restorative justice programs in the community and in schools in order to address conflicts. Incarceration is not the solution, it is the problem. Once youth become involved in the juvenile justice system, it is hard for them to get out of it. Please support youth and their futures and demand that no more youth are incarcerated no matter the crime/harm they have committed. Incarceration does nothing to address the needs of the community, those harmed, nor the youth who have committed the harm.
PROBLEM: Three systems that trap youth in the school-to-prison-pipeline:
• Criminalization of Youth: is the stigmatization of youth through laws and norms that are based on their behavior, dress, ability, socializing, identity, and community in which they live in.
• Policing of Youth: is the surveillance and social control of youth by law enforcement and those in disciplinary roles.
• Incarceration of Youth: is the punitive disciplinary act that is taken by the criminal justice system if a youth breaks the law and is found guilty.
Reies Romero, National Co-Coordinator of Save the Kids who was incarcerated as a youth, stated, “Incarceration is not the solution, but the problem. Once youth are involved in the juvenile justice system, it is hard for them to get out of it.”
Dr. Anthony J. Nocella II, Assistant Professor of Criminology and Sociology at Fort Lewis College and leading national expert on the school-to-prison-pipeline, states that, “the community needs to support youth and their future and demand that no more youth are incarcerated no matter the crime/harm they have committed. Incarceration does not address the needs of the community, victim/survivor, and offender.”