Families and Friends Organizing to Reform Juvenile Justice (FORJ) was founded by the family of Jonathan Daniel McClard of Jackson, MO. They created this organization as a result of their horrific experience when their beloved son and brother was tried as an adult and sentenced to 30 years to be served in the maximum security prison in Charleston, MO. Seven weeks after receiving this sentence, on January 4, 2008, after all hope was taken from him Jonathan took his life.

FORJ is dedicated to ending the practice of placing children and youth under the age of 18 in Missouri’s jails and prisons and providing all youth involved in Missouri’s juvenile or adult criminal justice system the necessary rehabilitation needed to become productive members of society by engaging and empowering families and allies of these youth.



  • Organize and empower families and allies most affected by the current juvenile justice practices to advocate for policy reform on the state and federal level.
  • Educate and bring awareness to policy makers and the general public about the horrific dangers to children, families and communities of the current practice of trying, sentencing and incarcerating youth in adult jails and prisons