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Richmond leaders call for juvenile justice system reform

'Not one more youth ought be deprived of opportunity'
Posted at 10:01 PM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-11 22:01:32-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond youth leaders walked a mile Saturday to represent the importance of going the "extra mile" to invest in children and teenagers in the city.

RISE For Youth leaders met up at Monroe Park on VCU's to kick off their month-long virtual Justice Parade, which replaces their annual in-person event.

"This year we are hosting a virtual Justice Parade to keep everyone safe," organizers wrote. "That means we are asking our supporters and allies to choose any day in July and walk a mile, whether alone or with friends, for Youth Justice."

“Go the #ExtraMile for Youth Justice” is the theme of the virtual event, according to the campaign's website.

Organizers, who are calling for a transformation for Virginia's juvenile justice system, selected VCU's campus because they said teens should not be sent to prison and deprived of advancing their education.

"Not one more youth ought be deprived of opportunity," RISE For Youth Executive Director Valerie Slater said. "But every young person ought to be given every opportunity to live their absolute life and fulfill their dreams."

Slater said more money should be invested in community programs and schools, to meet Richmond young people where they are, and prevent young people from "unnecessarily ending up in the justice system."