“People can influence their own communities in myriad ways. They can lobby state legislators. They can press their cities to invest in under-resourced communities."
So many teens get caught up in the juvenile justice system because their interaction with an officer escalates to the point where the cuffs come out. This is especially true for young people of color. Strategies for Youth offers training for both police and kids to increase understanding and reduce unnecessary use of force and arrests.
The problem I’m trying to solve
Some 40 percent of young people who are arrested face minor offenses like contempt of cop or obstructing justice (or even not walking on the sidewalk in a town that doesn’t have any), where there is no underlying crime. They are charged because neither the officer nor, frequently, the youth knew how to ratchet down fear and tension during their encounter. African American youth are especially at risk, being arrested and detained more than twice as frequently as whites. Sadly, severe consequences result when a youth enters the system, affecting everything from the ability to get a job or a driver’s license to college acceptance, plus court fees can devastate a low-income family. Our evidence-based, city-specific trainings include Policing the Teen Brain for officers and our fun Juvenile Justice Jeopardy game to educate youth how to navigate interactions with authority figures. As police reform has become a prominent issue, demand for our services has grown.