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Recruitment, Re-engagement & Re-entry: Incorporating Youth Voice Into Juvenile Justice Reform.

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Presentation on theme: "Recruitment, Re-engagement & Re-entry: Incorporating Youth Voice Into Juvenile Justice Reform."— Presentation transcript:

1 Recruitment, Re-engagement & Re-entry: Incorporating Youth Voice Into Juvenile Justice Reform

2 STARCIAAGUE YOUTH AND FAMILY ADVOCACY PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR JUVENILE JUSTICE REHABILITATION ADMINISTRATION Spent 5 1/2 years confined within the juvenile justice system Obtained Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from Washington State University CJJ Spirit of Youth Award Recipient 2009 Champion for Change Award Recipient Crosscut Courage Award Winner for Public Service courage-award-public-service/ courage-award-public-service/ Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice (WA-PCJJ) member & co-chair of the Youth Committee For more information visit: Front page of website has recently released documentary

3 DEBRA BAKER PROJECT DIRECTOR RAISING OUR YOUTH AS LEADERS Employed in the field of criminal law since 1985 and has worked with adult and youth offenders for over 20 years. Debra’s work has created case law. Debra holds a Masters of Theology. She also holds a degree in Business Management – Columbia University. Certified Criminal Justice Specialist by the National Association of Forensic Counselors. Featured in a number of news articles. Debra & ROYAL provides trainings locally and nationally. The ROYAL Project is admired and endorsed by national celebrities and professors. Interest in the model is increasing nationally. For more information visit: /http://www.theroyalproject.com /

4 RECRUITING AND ENGAGING YOUTH IN JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM BENEFITS CHALLENGES IN THIS PRESENTATION WE WILL DISCUSS WHY IT IS IMPORTANT STEPS TO ENGAGE

5 WA-PCJJ YOUTH COMMITTEE WASHINGTON STATE PARTNERSHIP COUNCIL ON JUVENILE JUSTICE (WA-PCJJ) The council’s membership is comprised of legislators, judges, prosecutors, defenders and private/non-profit leaders who have extensive experience and knowledge in juvenile justice and are able to affect or influence system reform. The membership includes youth representation to ensure the youth voice is heard and acted on in the reform effort. The Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice Youth Committee is made up of 3-5 youth from each facilities' united youth council who have successfully completed the selective process.

6 WHAT IS THE FOCUS OF WA-PCJJ and UYC? Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO): Eliminating or preventing the placement of non-offending youth such as a dependent or neglected child and status offenders such as a runaway or truant in secure facilities. Sight and Sound Separation: Ensuring complete sound and sight separation of juveniles from adult offenders in secure facilities such as adult jails and lock ups. Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC): Addressing juvenile delinquency prevention and system improvement efforts designed to reduce the disproportionate number of juvenile members of minority groups who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO): Eliminating or preventing the placement of non-offending youth such as a dependent or neglected child and status offenders such as a runaway or truant in secure facilities. Sight and Sound Separation: Ensuring complete sound and sight separation of juveniles from adult offenders in secure facilities such as adult jails and lock ups. Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC): Addressing juvenile delinquency prevention and system improvement efforts designed to reduce the disproportionate number of juvenile members of minority groups who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. The membership includes youth representation to ensure the youth voice is heard and acted on in the reform effort.

7 U.Y. C UNITED YOUTH COUNCIL UNITING YOUTH FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE ENGAGING YOUTH FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM THROUGH

8 WHAT IS YOUTH VOICE? Washington State Juvenile Rehabilitation (JR) is using youth voice as a way to gain the youth’s perspective on what’s working and what’s not working regarding their juvenile justice experience, as well as input on treatment processes and outcomes for rehabilitation; current and future policies; and process re-design. Youth voice is the knowledge, ideas, concerns and opinions of youth specifically in regards to improving the juvenile justice system. WHAT IS UNITED YOUTH COUNCIL? The united youth council (U.Y.C.) is the mechanism in which youth voice can be utilized throughout out the juvenile justice system. There is a united youth council at the three main facilities in Washington. (Green Hill, Echo Glen & Naselle.) Each united youth council is made up of youth who have successfully completed the application process. A select few of the united youth council participants make up WA-PCJJ youth committee members.

9 WHY IS ENGAGING YOUTH IN JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM IMPORTANT? When given the opportunity, youth can be very influential advocates in juvenile justice reform. Youth who share their personal experience within the juvenile justice system enlighten others on what is working and what needs improvement. Holds the juvenile justice system accountable. The principles of positive youth development, which are increasingly accepted as the basis for effective youth-serving programs, state that it is crucial to help a young person feel connected to and responsible for their community’s well- being. “Youth Voice means a lot to me. It means that I can tell my side of the story, and that I can stand up for those who can’t. Being a part of Youth Voice gives me hope for a better future, not only for myself but for future generations. Experiences working with people in a professional setting, responsibility, working as a team and being confident are a few of the traits that Youth Voice offers. I know now that I don’t have to just sit down and wait for change to happen. I can stand and speak up. I can contribute to the change.”

10 WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? Engaging youth enables them to obtain important skills, including critical thinking, decision making, consensus and team building. For disenfranchised and justice system involved youth, coordinated events, structured activities, and service learning opportunities offer them a place to build community and a pro-social way to be agents of social change. YOUTH EMPOWERMENT INCREASE IN CONFIDENCE RELATIONSHIP BUILDING STEREOTYPE BREAKING SOCIAL SKILLS DECISION MAKING SKILLS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM REFORM

11 WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES? SELECTING THE YOUT H LONG TERM ENGAGEMENT AND PARTICIPATION TRANSPORTATION FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS SCHEDULING RESTRICTIONS REENTRY (HOUSING, EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION, BASIC NEEDS) SYSTEMS WORKING TOGETHER EMPLOYING COMPASSIONATE WORKERS TO WORK WITH THE YOUTH

12 STEPS TO ENGAGE YOUTH IN JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM THROUGH YOUTH VOICE Create opportunities for youth to be heard Youth panels, speaking events, etc. Review policies Civic engagement Engage youth in important discussions and incorporate feedback Administer resources, information and materials to prepare, inform and engage youth Have a consistent schedule for meetings Compensate youth Provide youth with meaningful incentives

13 EXAMPLES OF UYC PROJECTS U.Y.C LOGO U.Y.C MATERIALS-APPLICATIONS, WELCOME PACKET, FLYERS DMC INFOGRAPHIC WASHINGTON STATE JUVENILE RECORDS INFOGRAPHIC P.R.E.A INFORMATIONAL COMIC YOUTH AUTOBIOGRAPHIES EDUCATIONAL VIDEO All Materials Were Made By the Youth, For the Youth

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15 EXAMPLES OF UYC PROJECTS stop-the-sale-and-distribution-of-juvenile-criminal- records

16 Youth Autobiographies Educational Video MEANWHILE The Lasting Impact of Juvenile Records in Washington State 5 Minute preview …

17 RAISING OUR YOUTH AS LEADERS Vision: ROYAL is an industry leader in creating world- class programs that help young people discover their genius. The programs are relevant, proven, and effective. ROYAL is an evaluated and “Promising Practice” model that holds a 87.8% success rate at transitioning youth out of the criminal justice system. ROYAL confronts the issue of mass incarceration. These young people (our future leaders) accomplish their personal, professional, and educational goals toward success and self-sufficiency. They become socially conscious and progress to become strong contributing members of society.

18 ROYAL SERVICES ROYAL Programs (youth ages 13-18): Life Coaching/Mentorship – Certified Coaches Case Strategizing – Certified Case Strategists Young Gent’s Society (boys group) Girlz – Gems & Jewels (girls group) Unchained Genius-Youth Leadership Academy – Collaboration with Antioch University, Seattle, WA Life Is Your Business Design Engineering

19 YOUTH SERVICE LEARNING Definition of Youth Voice: Youth voice speaks to the involvement, ideas, thinking and opinions of youth. Service-learning is allowing youth to be stakeholders and contributors in various aspects of juvenile justice work. It is incorporating the input of youth in the decision-making points of organizations, initiatives, programs, conversations, and planning.

20 AREAS FOR YOUTH VOICE Board membership Program design/implementation Agency artwork Performance feedback Webinars Working with other youth Crafting legislation Youth as Trainers Youth Advisory Councils Youth as Funders Fundraisers Speaking engagements Focus groups System work (change) YOUTH AS MENTORS

21 A GOOD IDEA/GREAT IDEA Analysis/Assessment

22 ORGANIZATION READINESS It is recommended the organization/program have at least 3 years experience working with youth. It is recommended the organization/program have an established mission/vision. The organization/program should have capacity for training, mentoring, & supporting the young person. Other

23 HONORING YOUTH VOICE 1.Have clear & appropriate reasons for incorporating youth voice 2.Provide training and mentorship for the young person 3.Always provide compensation and/or list of take-aways 4.Be clear on the talent and limitations of the young person 5.Set clear boundaries - limit their assignment (speaker to explain) 6.Be aware of your boundaries –working with youth over 18 – meet in office and professional settings, etc. 7.Celebrate the accomplishment or the mistake(s) – put healthy perspective around the young ego YOU ARE THE MENTOR/EDUCATOR

24 HELPFUL TIPS Have a clear start dates and end dates Maintain a clear system of accountability Create meaningful opportunities Don’t invite youth involvement then dominate the process or ignore their input Keep all agreements/commitments Be honest

25 EXAMPLES OF YOUTH VOICE The following are excerpts of a power point presentation designed by ROYAL youth participants

26 “Having Our Say, Let Us Help You Out Of This Mess.” Powerpoint by: T.G. & A. M. © 2013 Raising Our Youth As Leaders

27 How Can Adults Help Stop Racism? 1.I believe adults can help stop racism by first recognizing that it’s still going on. Once they realize that, they’ve already stepped into victory lane. 2.Then, they’ll be able to reach out to students or their children by observing how it could be going on and to what extent/level it’s affecting us as the youth. 3.Parents can start by visiting their child/teen’s classrooms and seeing what exactly goes on behind closed doors. 4.Teachers can do so by reaching out to the students, by recommending a change in classroom settings or coming up with a plan with the administration. Youth Voice: T.G. © 2013 Raising Our Youth As Leaders

28 What Would It Take to End Racism in Schools? I think what would need to happen to end racism in schools is: 1.The school district needs to pay more attention to the school officials and the teachers that they are hiring. 2.The teachers lack compassion and it seems they don’t care about students’ future. They no longer choose to go the extra step to help their children. That’s for the school officials as well. As a personal experience, they will lie on you and will label you so fast as being a “youth at risk”. We want our teachers to ENGAGE with us and show they CARE. Youth Voice: A.M. © 2013 Raising Our Youth As Leaders

29 Contact Us For More Information Contact: Starcia Ague Youth and Family Advocate Program Administrator Juvenile Justice Rehabilitation Administration (360) , Debra Baker Project Director The Raising Our Youth as Leaders Project ext. 3196, Note: ROYAL does replicate its services and programs Alexandra Staropoli Associate Director, Government and Field Relations Coalition for Juvenile Justice , ext. 109,


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