Summit Rallies Young People to Become Juvenile Justice Advocates

Summit Rallies Young People to Become Juvenile Justice Advocates” by Jessica R. Kendall

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As a teen, Miguel Rodriguez used graffiti to express himself and “to prove to the world that he existed,” the now 20-year-old told Youth Today. But, at age 13 his interest in graffiti turned into a vandalism arrest, where he spent several weeks in detention and 18 months on probation.

Since then, Rodriguez has used graffiti to engage his peers on social justice issues, as program director for the Graffiti Zone, a Chicago-based after-school program and as a member of the youth advisory board of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.

Rodriguez was one of approximately 115 youth and young adults between the ages of 16 and 30, from 27 different states who descended upon the D.C.- based law firm Patton Boggs this weekend to participate in the Coalition for Juvenile Justice’s summit, Empowering Young Leaders for Juvenile Justice Reform.