Joanna Visser Adjoian and Lauren Fine
Lauren Fine and Joanna Visser Adjoian are the co-founders and Co-Directors of the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP). YSRP uses direct service and policy advocacy to keep children out of adult jails and prisons, and to bring home people who were sentenced as children to life in prison without the possibility of parole (“Juvenile Lifers”).
YSRP is an advocacy organization that believes children do not belong in adult jails or prisons, and that people deserve to return home and live full lives with dignity.
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. YSRP partners with court-involved youth and Juvenile Lifers, their families, and lawyers to develop holistic, humanizing narratives that mitigate the facts of each case; get cases transferred to the juvenile system or resentenced; and make crucial connections to community resources providing education, healthcare, housing, and employment. YSRP also provides trainings on mitigation, and recruits, trains and supervises students and other volunteers to assist in this work. The organization’s ultimate goals are to keep children out of adult jails and prisons and to enhance the quality of representation Juvenile Lifers receive at resentencing, and as they prepare to reenter the community.
MNSF started our partnership with Lauren and Joanna in 2020. Our first grant will make it possible for YSRP to launch a second cohort of their Intergenerational Healing Circle (IGHC), which allows formerly incarcerated youth and juvenile lifers to share experiences and build intergenerational community.