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SFY is a national nonprofit training and policy organization dedicated to ensuring the best outcomes for youth interactions with law enforcement. We equip law enforcement with developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed, racially equitable policies, practices and partnerships.
Policing kids is hard. There’s scientific reason for that: kids’ brains aren’t developed (and won’t be until they are in their mid-20s) so they act more impulsively, take risks, and often make bad decisions. But training for encounters with youth amounts to 1% or less of the total training officers receive.
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Only eight states include information about disportionate minority contact in their juvenile justice curriculum.
Rod Chatman, Investigator, Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office, GA, describes how Policing the Teen Brain training helped him look for the reasons for the behavior when interacting with a youth.
When contentious interactions occur between cops and kids, when there are racial disparities in policing, law enforcement’s relationship with the community is severely damaged and hard to heal, making police work more difficult.
Once involved with the juvenile justice system, a young person’s future is at stake: their risks skyrocket for dropping out of school, substance dependency, homelessness, early pregnancy, and criminal behavior as an adult.
In communities where Strategies for Youth has worked, we’ve seen that developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed, and racially equitable training for youth and and law enforcement officers and agencies can lead to up to a 84% decline in juvenile arrests.
Strategies For Youth interventions provide practical and safe approaches that save lives, families, and money. Your support helps to make that happen.
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