Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project (YASP)

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Supporting Kids During and After Incarceration

The Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project gives the following descriptive information:

Education: YASP conducts art, poetry, music, and empowerment workshops at the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center (P.I.C.C.) and Riverside Correctional Facility (R.F.C.) every Saturday with young people under 18 who are being tried as adults.

We also show our documentary and do leadership building workshops at schools and colleges to teach youth about the flaws of the criminal justice system and how to avoid a life of crime.

  • We believe that it is very important to talk to youth both in the adult jails and in public schools to help them stay out of the system period.
  • We believe that the more youth that we inform about the school-to-prison pipeline, the more progress we make because knowledge is power.
  • We believe that the reason that youth in urban communities end up going through the school-to-prison pipeline and end up incarcerated is because most of them didn’t realize that it was even in place.

Assistance: YASP's work with young people continues even after their time in the adult prison system. One day a week, YASP has "open hours" to provide these teens help with finding employment, writing resumes and cover letters, continuing education, homework, college applications, etc.

Activism: YASP participates in rallies and demonstrations, and conducts door knocking campaigns for our petition to repeal or amend Act 33, the law that allows youth to be automatically charged as adults in PA.

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