How to Use SFY’s Think About It First! Cards

How to… Use SFY’s Think About It First! Cards

What are Think About It First! Cards?

Think About It First! Cards are tools for law enforcement, youth advocates, teachers, coaches, and anyone else who works with youth. These business-sized cards warn youth, and sometimes adults too, about the collateral consequences of arrest and involvement in the juvenile justice system.

Who’s using Think About It First! Cards?

California – Los Angeles Unified School District, San Francisco Juvenile Probation: Log Cabin Ranch, Statewide through Youth Serving Community-Based Organizations
Indiana – Indiana State Bar Association
Maine – Juvenile Probation and Statewide through Youth Serving Community-Based Organizations
Massachusetts – Boston’s MBTA Transit Police, Cambridge Police Department, Everett Police Department, Youth Advocates
Minnesota – St. Paul Police Department, Minneapolis Police Department, 180 Degrees, Youth Advocates
Montana
Nebraska
New York – New York City Juvenile Probation
Wisconsin – Milwaukee Police Department and Statewide through Youth Serving Community-Based Organizations

How are Think About It First! Cards being used?

  • As an icebreaker – allowing law enforcement and other authority figures to approach and interact with youth in a positive, non-adversarial way.
  • As a warning – telling youth about the potential consequences of arrest and involvement in the juvenile justice system, like loss of public benefits or exclusion from military service.
  • As a reminder – about the size of a business card, Think About It First! cards can be kept in a wallet or purse and continually referred to by their holders.
  • As context – reminding law enforcement and other authority figures of the potential long term consequences of their decisions to involve youth in the juvenile justice system.
  • As a teaching tool – as pocket-sized handouts, these cards spell out in plain language the collateral consequences of arrest and involvement in the juvenile justice system.

Who’s talking about Think About It First! cards?

You don’t think about these things when you’re young, so why don’t we let them know what happens if you’re placed under arrest … one stupid thing could follow you around for the rest of your life.

Deputy Chief Kenneth Green
Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) Police

The cards help educate youth and the providers…This is important information for judges and law enforcement to consider.

Sarah Walker, Former Chief Operating Officer
180 Degrees, Minnesota Second Chance Coalition

Want a Think About It First! Card for Your State?

Call us at 617.714.3789. We’ll work with you to develop a card for your youth.