Op Eds and Opinion Pieces by Strategies for Youth
Legislators, reformer communities, government agencies and parents ask Strategies for Youth for guidelines, research and model policies. You can explore some of those questions by flipping the blue boxes and then reading our opinion pieces on those topics.
In August, an 11-year-old African-American girl was tased by a Cincinnati police officer when he tried to apprehend her for shoplifting. The news was greeted, predictably, with dismay by officials there.
After all, most of the public does not like the idea of a small child being subjected to police force, particularly when she was fleeing from, not advancing toward, the police officer.
A new presidential appointee has quietly changed decades-old federal policies meant to improve racial disparities in youth incarceration.
Policing should be treated like a public health issue, forcing the entire system of recruitment and training to change.
Last week, a Dallas County jury sentenced former police officer Roy Oliver to 15 years in prison for murdering 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. Oliver shot Edwards in the head while he was in a car with several other teenagers. Edwards might not have lost his life if Oliver had been better trained in the unique aspects of policing teens.
While considerable progress has been made among law enforcement to treat young victims differently, too many police and prosecutors still fail to recognize that in the delinquency setting, young children do not perceive, process, and experience the world as adults do and also need to be treated differently.
A conversation about taking a trauma-informed approach to young people and the justice system, in which we covered: (1) how exposure to trauma can push vulnerable young people into the justice system unnecessarily, and (2) how police can use our growing awareness of the behavioral effects of trauma on youth to create networks of support instead of punishment.
Would anyone bring a 10-year old suffering from the flu to a doctor who had not been required to pass state-level medical boards? Two youth advocates wonder why there aren’t similar state agencies setting standards for police behavior with young people.
With all of the disturbing news we hear about so often concerning police/community relations, it was extremely heartening to read the article “Lewiston police chief credits youth outreach for lower crime rate” in the Sun Journal (Oct. 24). I am grateful that Police Chief Brian O’Malley engaged our organization, Strategies for Youth, to provide the training for police officers that helped to bring about these positive changes in partnership with youth-serving community based organizations in Lewiston.
We all remember the video of the South Carolina incident, in which a teacher called a school administrator to deal with a student who refused to give up her cell phone. The administrator called a School Resource Officer (SRO), who ripped the girl from her chair, threw her across the room, and arrested her. A classmate who videotaped this violence was also arrested. The ACLU is representing the student who videotaped the assault in a lawsuit.