he Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth’s (CFSY) vision is to help create a society that respects the dignity and human rights of children through a justice system that operates with consideration of the child’s age, provides youth with opportunities to return to community, and bars the imposition of life without parole for people under age 18.

  • The U.S. is the only country in the world that sentences children to life in prison without parole. The majority of people serving this sentence were exposed to violence as children and endured trauma that went untreated. Black youth receive life-without-parole sentences at a per capita rate that is 10 times that of white youth.
  • The CSFY uses a multi-pronged approach to end the practice of sentencing children to life in prison without parole, which includes legislative advocacy, litigation, public education, and coalition building.
  • Since its founding in 2009, the CFSY has tripled the number of states banning life without parole sentences for children, played a major role in three U.S. Supreme Court wins, and established a diverse national coalition to demonstrate the broad base of support for reform.
  • The CFSY is home to a first-of-its-kind national advocacy network comprised of individuals incarcerated for murder as children, who served time, and are now living productive lives and giving back to their communities. These individuals exemplify children’s capacity for growth and change, and demonstrate why we should never give up on our children for life.

Read Huffington Post article Defending the Childhood of Brendan Dassey, written by Executive Directors Kim Dvorchak of NJDC and Jody Kent Lavy of The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth.