JJ Today

2010 Soros Justice Fellows Include a Number of JJ Projects

April 20, 2010 by John Kelly

The New York-based Open Society Institute announced its 2010 Soros Justice Fellows, all of whom will receive a stipend between $45,000 and $109,000 to carry out justice-related projects during the year. Most of the winners will work with an existing organization on the projects.

A number of the 18 winners will focus their attention on youth:

-Dwayne Betts, a young activist who spent eight years in adult prison for carjacking, will write a book about the ways that crime and mass incarceration affect the families of both victims and incarcerated.

-Alexandra Cox will work with the Brooklyn-based Institute for Juvenile Justice Reform and Alternatives to develop and implement research and protocols for discovering and improving relationships between youth and staff in juvenile facilities.

-Activist Manuel Criollo will work with Los Angeles-based Labor/Community Strategy Center to challenge policies he believes are disproportionately punitive towards black and Latino youth.

-Laura McCargar, executive director of Youth Media Rights in New Haven, Conn., will work with Hartford’s Better Way Foundation to expose the way in which systems push older students toward a decision to enroll in an alternative school or drop out. McCargar and her youth fought the state in court to gain access (with cameras) into the Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown. YRM’s film “CJTS: At What Cost?” was instrumental in bringing about change in how the facility is operated.

 -Zachary Norris, who is the field director of the Books Not Bars campaign based out of Oakland, Calif.’s Ella Baker Center, will help create the Justice for Families Alliance, a support group for families of incarcerated youth that will become a component of the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative.

-Malcolm Young, who in the past has served as executive director of the D.C.-based Sentencing Project and the Chicago-based John Howard Association, will work with the Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law to increase job opportunities for ex-offenders.

For a list of all the Soros Justice Fellows, click here.

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