Our Mission

RISE for Youth is a nonpartisan organization committed to dismantling the youth prison model and ensuring every space that impacts a young person’s life encourages growth and success. RISE promotes the creation of healthy communities and community-based alternatives to youth incarceration. Our work centers youth and their communities who together, challenge racial and social injustice in Virginia.

Upcoming Event

The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country in the world. Our Commonwealth ranks seventeenth in global incarceration rates. What’s to be done? Rev. Jamar A. Boyd II with the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and Valerie Slater with RISE for Youth will speak about Virginia’s political dynamics with an eye toward January 2022’s General Assembly. Learn what Christians in Virginia can do to advocate for more compassionate laws that rehabilitate rather than punish.

Coordinated by the Public Policy Witness Ministry of Presbytery of the James.

Event Details

October 25, 2021
2:00 p.m.
Via Zoom

New Virginia Poll Results On Youth Justice Reform

After a year of pandemic, protests, and political strife, America’s divisions are clear, but a new survey reveals that reforming the youth justice system is an issue that brings Virginians together across education and ideological lines. The vast majority of Virginia residents support a range of reforms to the youth justice system designed to fundamentally shift focus and resources to prevention and rehabilitation instead of punishment and incarceration.

Linked here are key findings from a recent survey of 500 adults in the state of Virginia conducted by GBAO on behalf of the Youth First Initiative.

Latest News

Recent News


Thank you Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant for standing with youth and families and investing in community-based alternatives, not prison.

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Giving Thanks!

Thank you Sen. Mark Obenshain for helping our most vulnerable youth by investing community-based alternatives to prison.

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Thank you!

Prison is no place for kids. Thank you Governor Terry McAuliffe for protecting community-based alternatives to incarceration.

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