Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
1319 F Street NW, Suite 303, Washington, DC 20004
The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY) is a national coalition that leads, coordinates, develops, and supports efforts to implement just alternatives to the extreme sentencing of America’s youth with a focus on abolishing life-without-parole sentences for all youth.
By applying consistent pressure at the state and federal level since its founding, the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY) has created the conditions that are bringing about an end to the inappropriately harsh treatment of young people in the US. The CFSY has created a groundswell of support for treating kids less harshly than adults, resulting in three US Supreme Court rulings that drastically scale back juvenile life without parole (JLWOP).
The CFSY has:
- Nearly doubled the number the number of states that ban JLWOP in just four years and built robust coalitions to ensure reforms are implemented as they were intended
- Partnered with litigators at the US Supreme Court, which ruled in Montgomery v. Louisiana that that any child sentenced to mandatory life in prison without parole is serving an unconstitutional sentence and is eligible for review, in addition to stating that life without parole is no longer possible for youth whose crimes do not reflect permanent incorrigibility
- Launched and expanded the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network (ICAN) – a first-of-its-kind national network of individuals incarcerated for serious crimes as youth who demonstrate through advocacy and strategic communications that children – even those convicted of serious crimes – can mature and deserve age-appropriate treatment. ICAN members have shared their stories with such strategic audiences as the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the American Bar Association, the National Association of Counties, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Center for State Courts
- In outlets such as the New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune, shifted the public narrative away from defining children by their worst acts to one that reflects a greater understanding about the fundamental differences between children and adults and the inherent unfairness of ignoring those differences when children come in conflict with the law.