I just got off a virtual meeting hosted by Youth First Initiative and The School of Social Work at Howard University with Hernán Carvente Martinez and Karen Kolivoski #FreeOurYouth. You can find out more about they are doing at http://www.freeouryouth.org. The event inspired me to write this blog post as we must continue to advocate for decriminalizing our youth!
It’s a question of political will and priorities the way we incarcerate youth and this pandemic has been no exception. We are actively locking up kids at this time and until we redistribute funds to take care of those most in need, mental health, wellness, youth voices, our youth and our communities, until then, we will be criminalized and continue to struggle.
When it comes to Harlem specifically I’m particularly passionate about this as we have one of the highest imprisonment rates in New York City where over 1,012 per 100,000 Central Harlem residents were incarcerated in state prisons in 2010 census data (in contrast, the Stuyvesant Town-Cooper Village area in Manhattan had only 3 residents in state prison in 2010) (source: Prison Policy Initiative). This is one of many reasons why I have included addressing mass incarceration and juvenile injustice issues as part of my political platform. #kristinforharlem #krj #jordan2021