Today, SFY released a groundbreaking report, Catch & Stun, regarding the use of tasers on young people who are unarmed, engaged in minor or no criminal activity, in distress or emotional crisis, and pose no public safety threat.
It’s been a long time since I have felt hopeful. When I first learned about Strategies for Youth and their mission to connect cops and kids in a meaningful way, I knew I had to get involved. For me, this work represents real progress that translates to safer children and better-prepared police officers. An SFY survey found that police officers spend just 1% of their training time in the academy — that’s just six hours — on youth-focused issues. That’s simply not enough.
This fall, Dastherlie Dorlus — or “Dash” — a second year Northeastern Law School student, interned at Strategies for Youth. One of her projects was to update SFY’s October 2019 report, Two Billion Dollars Later: States Begin to Regulate School Resource Officers in the Nation’s Schools A Survey of State Laws
On October 14, Lisa Thurau, Executive Director of Strategies for Youth, was invited by Tricia Long, Director of Resilience Beyond Incarceration (RBI), to co-lead two four-hour workshops for law enforcement officers in two Vermont counties. The workshops promoted a trauma-informed approach to interacting with children who are present when a parent or caretaker is being arrested.
As we move through these last, precious days of sun and warmth, I wanted to briefly highlight some recent national attention that SFY has received in the media, and a new social media campaign we are launching to help law enforcement and other practitioners improve the quality of their interactions with youth.
SFY’s new report, Forging Partnerships with Law Enforcement, results from SFY’s work with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and with local partners implementing Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiatives (JDAI) over the last 10 years.
Courtesy of the CARES Act, those who take the standard tax deduction can take a $300 deduction above their adjusted gross income (AGI). The $300 deduction is for donations made in cash, which includes currency, checks, credit or debit cards, and electronic funds transfers.Those who itemize their deductions can take a 100% deduction off of their AGI this year only. Normally, this deduction is phased out at 60%.
As we close out 2020, we want to thank you for your support of Strategies for Youth. In a year with so many challenges, many things have been made clear, chief among them for us have been the importance of Strategies For Youth’s work and the importance of the support of donors like you.
We asked, ‘What do you find useful and compelling about our programs.” For Chief Russell Bentley, the answer was easy. “This is exactly the kind of training I was looking for. It helps our SROs treat the whole child.”
Every December we invite our colleagues from around the country to share their experiences on the impact of SFY’s programming. This video of Naomi McSwain and Marissa, a student in her program, shows the impact of Jeopardy games.
SFY is addressing the necessity of training law enforcement using new approaches. In addition to some remote training, SFY has launched a podcast series. The podcasts will offer experts’ thoughts on the challenges facing law enforcement in the current policing context and offer strategies for working with young people who are also dealing with the stress of the global pandemic.
Summoning the will to withstand the inevitable pushback will continue to be our greatest challenge to real change. Experience has shown me that what is needed for real, enduring reform starts with the political will at all levels to insist on reforming law enforcement policies and practices in America.
We encourage you to read and sign on to SFY’s Agenda for Reforming Youth Policing Practices & Policies and our statement in support of it. Our positions derive from working with law enforcement, juvenile justice system stakeholders, and youth in 20 states over the past 10 years.