Policy Engagement

How Does SFY Get Involved?

SFY is often asked by legislators, reformers, communities, government agencies and parents questions like:

  • Should officers receive special training to work with youth?
  • Should school resource officers be trained how to work with children with special needs?
  • Should policies regarding use of force with youth be different than policies for adults?
  • Should states record juvenile confessions?
  • Should police departments have special policies for treatment of children who observe the arrest of their parents?

Strategies for Youth works to improve policy pertaining to police/youth interactions on the state and national level by conducting research to answer questions like these, weighing in on best practice for working with youth and creating model policies to guide law enforcement officers and agencies.

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Why Is Policy Engagement Needed?​

Law Enforcement Officers have become a pervasive presence in the lives of many youth. They are now routinely deployed in public schools and, as social and mental health services have been scaled back, they are frequently the “first social responders” in many disputes involving youth. Law enforcement officers interact with youth in a variety of deeply challenging situations and settings, but receive little training about adolescent psychology and behavior and little in the way of policy directives that would ensure use of developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed, racially equitable best practices with youth.

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