July 19, 2016

CONTACT: Kyle Epstein, 202-481-8137

Washington, D.C.—As Congress retreats to their home districts for the long summer recess, young people across the country are fighting for progress on criminal justice reform policy. Today, Generation Progress released a report, “Fighting For A Future: Millennials Tackle Criminal Justice Reform,” outlining a set of ten Millennial-driven solutions to help repair the criminal justice system.

Over the past year, Generation Progress convened a series of roundtable discussions across the country to define issues and develop recommendations unique to the criminal justice climate of each city. In bringing together input from a diverse coalition of leaders—from law enforcement, to Black Lives Matter activists, to policy experts, to elected officials—today’s report highlights how a cooperative model of community engagement fosters a more holistic approach to addressing a flawed criminal justice system.

“Young people overwhelmingly understand the value of coalition-building to both influence policy and drive forward a national dialogue on criminal justice reform,” said Nicholas Kitchel, Senior Advocacy Associate for Generation Progress and a co-author of the report. “The justice system disproportionately fails young people, and young people of color especially. In developing solutions that address the nuances of criminal justice reform policy, moving past the hyper-partisanship that often stalls these discussions is essential. Young people get that, and this report reflects that diversity in perspectives.”

The policy recommendations in the report fall under three overarching themes: race and privilege; community investment; and law enforcement reform and accountability. Especially in this contentious election year, solutions to tackling issues like criminal justice reform can and should call on all community stakeholders in order to make the system work for young people, and young people of color in particular.

“As an organizer in Baltimore, having a space to hold a positive conversation about criminal justice reform is crucial because it creates a level ground for all voices to work toward one common solution,” said DeJuan Patterson, a community organizer who attended Generation Progress’ Baltimore roundtable. “More often than not, change is hard to come by because a communal forum for all sides to air out their concerns doesn’t even exist.”

Indeed, the unlikely coalitions informing this report recognize that with an increased national spotlight on systemic failures in the justice system, progress will either be forged together, or not at all.

To read the report, click here.

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For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Kyle Epstein at or 202.481.8137

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