Youth Force

Award Recipients - 1999

Kim McGillicuddy, Cofounder


Kim McGillicuddy is cofounder of Youth Force – an organization created and run by and for young people in the South Bronx.  Youth Force mobilizes young people to participate in community organizing, educational campaigns and political advocacy.  Building on their direct experience with the juvenile and criminal justice systems, Youth Force members developed the Community Justice Center to prevent and reduce the incarceration of youth.  The Center provides legal education, referrals to education, jobs, counseling and other services as well as individualized “’court support” for young people going though the judicial system.  
In 1998, Youth Force initiated a Youth Court where young people hear and decide cases.  The Court is an alternative for referred from the Department of Probation’s Alternative to Court programs.  Sentences focus on legal education, community action projects, apology letter and jury duty service on youth Court instead of punishment.  Members also produced a public report, “Jail Logic,” to make recommendations to the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice regarding the concerns of young people about incarceration policies and institutions.  The activists of Youth Force are providing a strong voice for the rights of young people and a model for social change at the community level.

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