Policy Engagement

Why Is Policy Engagement Needed?

Law Enforcement Officers have become a frequent presence in the lives of many youths. They are now routinely deployed in public schools and, as social and mental health services have been scaled back, they are frequently the first responders in domestic disputes involving juveniles. Law enforcement officers confront youths in a variety of deeply challenging situations and settings, but receive surprisingly little training about adolescent psychology and behavior.

 

Report: If Not Now, When?Strategies for Youth conducted a comprehensive, national survey reviewing the training offered in police academies to prepare law enforcement officers to work with youth. Our 2013 report, IF NOT NOW WHEN? A Survey of Juvenile Justice Training in American Police Academies presents those findings.

How Does SFY Get Involved?

Strategies for Youth advocates improving juvenile justice policy on two fronts:

Police Department Policy Assessment and Development

While training is critical, so are the policies which officers are expected to implement in practice. Our engagement with law enforcement agency policy includes:

  • conducting in-depth review of department policies that guide officers’ interactions with youth
  • recommending changes based on best practices, national law enforcement standards, and state law and court decisions

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State and National Policy and Reform Initiatives

Our engagements on the State and National level include:

  • Policy Debate
  • Statements and materials about police in schools
  • Work with the Department of Education
  • Guidance for police about treatment of children at the time of a parent’s arrest

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