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Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project

What the org has to say: “YSRP uses direct service and policy advocacy to transform the experiences of children prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system, and to ensure fair and thoughtful resentencing and reentry for individuals who were sentenced to life without parole as children (‘Juvenile Lifers’).”

What we found: YSRP’s goal is to have juvenile cases moved out of the adult justice system because in Pennsylvania, children as young as 10 can be charged as adults. Philadelphia has sentenced more children to life in prison without parole than any other city in the country. The organization works with clients for as long as they want, including when they are incarcerated and when they come home and need help reentering society. The staff meets monthly with trauma-informed therapists who teach them how to support the youth they are serving. YSRP offers art and poetry workshops to youth who are currently incarcerated and were charged as adults. Due to COVID, clients are now participating in those workshops over Zoom, on prison computers.

Features & Policies

  • For youth under 18 who have been prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system
  • Provides court-facing advocacy and reentry support
  • Free of charge
  • Stays in touch with clients both currently incarcerated and post-incarceration via in-person visits, Zoom, phone calls, letters, and texts
  • Individuals matched with program through attorneys
  • LGBTQ friendly
  • Free WiFi (by appointment)

Languages spoken by staff

  • English