The Youth Justice cohort includes eight student organizers and one adult ally working to reform the youth justice system in Tennessee, starting with a campaign to pass legislation ending the practice of solitary confinement for incarcerated and detained youth by April 2019.

“We believe that solitary confinement is wrong. It is cruel and ineffective. We believe that confining youth in a secluded, tiny cell where they are locked away from society and psychologically tortured to the very core is wrong. We believe that there is a better alternative to solitary confinement. It hurts us to witness second-hand the atrocious and inhumane treatment young people like us are receiving for offenses that are either minor or may have been acted upon due to mental issues or poor environments.”

2017-18 Youth Justice CHANGE Fellows
Ladiva Coleman, 12th grade, Freedom Preparatory Academy
Khya Cooper, 10th grade, Whitehaven High School
Brien Haley, 12th grade, Central High School
Hunter Key, 12th grade, White Station High School
Michael Payne, 9th grade, Middle College High School
Isabella Bianca Reano, 12th grade, Bolton High School
Rod’nee Richardson, 12th grade, Bolton High School
Karlynn Woods, 12th grade, Germantown High School

Want to learn more? Check out YJ’s strategic plan for 2017-18.

More to come!