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Youth and Police: Improving Interactions to Reduce System Involvement

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Childrens Law

Childrens Law


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Schools and law enforcement are typically the gatekeepers of the juvenile justice system. Building relationships among youth and police can reduce the influx of youth into the system, reduce unnecessary arrest and disproportionate minority contact, and minimize juvenile justice involvement. However, these outcomes require commitment to using arrest as a last resort and building understanding on the part of police about the limitations of arrest and the juvenile justice system to stop bad behavior. It also requires building understanding on the part of youth about how to interact with the police and what conduct goes beyond testing limits to being unlawful. Strategies for Youth is an organization that promotes the education of law enforcement in the workings of the child and adolescent brain, effective ways of communicating with youth, how to assess the risk a child or teen poses to himself or others, and that the juvenile justice system be used as a last resort. This show will explore promising practices that are being used to decrease youth involvement in the juvenile justice system by enhancing police-youth interactions and expanding the alternatives to arrest used by officers. Guests: Jeff Q, Bostic, MD & Lisa H. Thurau, JD, Strategies for Youth