Youth advocate to work with Annie E. Casey Foundation

Soros Justice fellow named

April 14, 2010|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

A youth advocate from California was named a 2010 Soros Justice Fellow and will work with the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore this fall.

Zachary Norris was named one of 18 2010 Soros Justice Fellows by the Open Society Institute. The fellows work to improve issues such as racial profiling and federal immigration enforcement within the U.S. Department of Justice.

Norris will start in September working with the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative through the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore.

"They have created a national model on how you reduce juvenile detention," he said. "We want to expand that model to other places."

One reform he wants to expand is a "roundtable" debate with those in the justice system and community organizations, he said.

Norris' project aims to create the Justice for Families Alliance, a national effort to organize and support families of incarcerated youth.

He said there is an over-reliance on incarceration of youth, which does not advance public safety.

Norris was one of two recipients to work in Maryland. The other, Reginald Dwayne Betts, of Bowie, plans to write a book about how crime and mass incarceration affect the families of both victims and the incarcerated.

The eighteen fellows will receive a stipend of $45,000 to $108,750 for their projects.

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