On June 28, we will launch a grassroots campaign to end New Jersey’s failed experiment of youth incarceration by, among other things, closing Hayes and Jamesburg – the state’s girls’ youth prison and the largest youth prison for boys, respectively.

On June 28, 1867 Jamesburg opened. And, on June 28, 2017, we say: 150 years is enough!

Not only is our current youth incarceration system plagued by unacceptable racial disparities, but it is also extraordinarily expensive (costing more than $200,000 per year to incarcerate each child); it hinders our young people’s development; and it does not advance public safety.

The campaign will urge New Jersey to transform its youth justice system by re-investing funds from closing Hayes and Jamesburg youth prisons into developing and strengthening community-based intervention, prevention, diversion, and alternatives-to-incarceration programming for our youth.

In this moment, change will come, as it always has, from the ground up in our communities.

If you plan to attend the rally, please email Juvenile Justice Campaign Manager Retha Onitiri at ronitiri@njisj.org. Attendees at the rally can park at the Daniel P. Ryan Memorial Field Parking Lot (in front of the football field), located at 34 North State Home Road in Monroe Township, NJ 08831.