CA Youth Organizers Stay Connected Over the Summer
This summer was an exciting time for the CA’s youth organizers. Graduates of the Each One, Teach One (EOTO) youth leadership and advocacy training program learned activism through art, creating a photo documentary and, with help from DreamYard, a Bronx-based arts organization, co-wrote and performed a play dealing with issues related to the juvenile justice system. In addition to the arts component, called “EOTO Artists’ Camp,” youth organizers attended “EOTO Thinkers’ Camp,” where they delivered high energy, interactive workshops to other youth programs.
Recent graduates from Safe Passages, the CA’s leadership and organizing program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) youth affected by incarceration, also put their knowledge to work. They led six anti-homophobia trainings for youth in aftercare and alternative-to-incarceration programs and at other community-based organizations serving court-involved youth. Working with an NYU film student volunteer, five Safe Passages youth organizers also created a public service announcement promoting tolerance and connecting homophobia to other forms of discrimination. The resulting PSA, entitled “Chain of Oppression,” will serve as a catalyst for discussion in future anti-homophobia workshops.
In August, EOTO Youth Coordinator Asadullah Muhammad, EOTO alum Thomas Mims, and CUNY law student Angelo Pinto concluded a 6-week youth development workshop series for twenty-five 16- to 18-year-olds incarcerated at Rikers. Workshops ranged from “Growing Up Poor: Understanding Poverty” to “Jail Is Not a Rite of Passage: Building for Adulthood,” and were adapted from the EOTO curriculum.
Summer youth activities offer a valuable way for the CA’s youth organizers to build community, gain new skills and reach out to other youth while remaining connected with the program and the CA’s ongoing advocacy activities. As both programs’ fall training cycles get underway, the CA and our new organizers-in-training have much to look forward to, with a full schedule of hands-on advocacy and leadership workshops ahead.
CA Applauds Commitment to Raise the Age in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address, Laments No Mention of Racism, Violence, and Abuse in NYS Prisons
(January 9, 2016) New York, NY: The Correctional Association of New York roundly applauds the continued commitment of Governor Andrew Cuomo to raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York, ending the prosecution and incarceration of 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. It is now up to the members of both parties in the NYS Legislature to do their duty to make this a reality. In spite of the Governor’s assertion that the "nation looks to NY to find a way up," we actually fall behind 48 other states, along with North Carolina, by continuing to treat children as adults in the criminal legal system. New York must Raise the Age of criminal responsibility this legislative session. Read More
In New York State, 16 and 17-year-olds arrested or detained can be sent to adult prisons and jails. Despite multiple studies that show a teenager’s brain functions are not fully developed, our state insists on charging young people like adults, creating a generation of over-incarcerated youth in New York. We sat down to speak with [...]Read More
Prison Monitoring Reports
The Correctional Association of NY released a report on March 31, 2016 about Collins Correctional Facility, highlighting the large number of people with mental illness incarcerated at Collins and the lack of support and programs for these and other people incarcerated at the prison. Collins Correctional Facility is a medium security prison in western New [...]Read More