Op Eds and Opinion Pieces by Strategies for Youth

Opinion: Enforcing the law means engaging today’s youth

As a law enforcement executive, I’ve focused on engaging young people, especially those influenced by the aftermath of George Floyd’s death and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests. My visits to community organizations serving youth impacted by violence, poverty and numerous challenges revealed a troubling perspective – many of these young individuals view the police as an occupying force, worsening the struggles in their lives.

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Police Need to Do a Better Job With Young People

On May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Darnella Frazier, then 17, bravely recorded Derek Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd. Her shocking images circulated the globe and helped lead to the police officer’s conviction and, most recently, a Justice Department report examining the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) and its record of civil rights violations.?

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When Trauma Meets Trauma – Training Law Enforcement to Deal with Traumatized Youth

As an instructor who teaches Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) effective strategies for working with teens and young adults, I begin all my trainings by reminding officers that, no matter their age or level of experience, they were all teenagers once. I do this because, from the vantage point of our adult selves, it is easy to forget just how difficult life can seem when you are in the throes of adolescent angst.

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How Structural Racism Works

Want to understand how structural racism works? How race robs Black youth of the American dream? If so, then The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth by Kristin Henning is necessary reading.

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Citizens for Juvenile Justice: Juvenile Justice News

Last year’s police reform law created standards regarding the use of deadly force, no-knock warrants, dogs, tear gas, and pellet guns by law enforcement, requiring that the training of law enforcement officers and guidance on use of force include “developmentally appropriate de-escalation and disengagement tactics, techniques and procedures and other alternatives to the use of force for minor children.”

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The Mental Health Risks of Secondhand Exposure to Police Violence

In 1986, the Surgeon General released a report entitled The Health Consequences of Involuntary Smoking, concluding that secondhand smoke was a major health risk to nonsmokers. We are now learning something similar about the long-term mental health risks of secondhand exposure to police violence, especially for children of color.

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