Six thousand days. That’s how much total time the participants in our #LostDays campaign spent incarcerated or on probation when they were in foster care. Developed by NFYI’s Juvenile Justice Think Tank, the campaign sought to highlight how the juvenile justice system uniquely and mercilessly impacts foster youth — especially foster youth of color.

Launched during October — National Youth Justice Action Month — the campaign was an opportunity to raise awareness about overreaches in juvenile justice, the need for greater accountability and diversion programs, and to lift up the voices of justice-involved youth.

Participants in the campaign faced harsh punishments for typical teen behaviors like arguing, fighting with a sibling, and having medication at school. One person was locked up in a detention facility because there were not enough beds for foster youth in her state.

The Juvenile Justice Think Tank at NFYI is comprised of members and staff who have experience in both foster care and the juvenile justice system. They came together to respond to President Joe Biden’s juvenile justice policy plans and to document why youth become justice-involved and how much time they spend in juvenile justice facilities. Photos from the campaign are below.