Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth

The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY) is a national nonprofit that leads efforts to ban life without parole and other extreme sentences for children. The CFSY is an equity-driven organization that explicitly works to dismantle the racial disparities, social injustices, and residual harms caused by the legal system. Through partnerships with advocacy organizations, businesses, and other stakeholders, the CFSY supports survivors of youth violence, those incarcerated as children who are still serving or have been released, and their respective families and communities.

Since its inception, CFSY has focused its efforts on the experience and policies impacting people given extreme sentences as children. We focus on this population to end the egregious sentences they have been given, to humanize the children easiest to demonize, and to catalyze reforms that dismantle mass incarceration.

A video opens with layering images of newspapers promoting the racist, fictitious superpredator myth in the mid 1990s, followed by archival and contemporary photographs showing Black youth and children wearing dehumanizing prison uniforms and shackles. Alternating with text showing the evolving promotion and subsequent recantation of the superpredator myth by John Delulio, images of children being tried and sentenced as adults, and being subjected to incarceration, attest to this myth's connections to enslavement and its ongoing violences.

The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth

They Were Children: Confronting the Superpredator Myth
Video, 4:49