Juvenile Justice Jeopardy session

Strategies for Youth is Unique

No other national organization exists solely for the purpose of improving police/youth interactions, advancing the cause of training public safety officers in the science of child and youth development and mental health, and supporting communities partnering to promote strong police/youth relationships.

Strategies For Youth’s Core Values

  1. We believe police trainings that provide practical insights from the science of child and adolescent development and psychiatry are effective methods for enhancing the skills and options of officers when working with children and youth.
  2. We believe that police departments’ effectiveness and legitimacy is determined by the quality of their interactions with children and youth.
  3. We believe that communities should be partners with police in assuring the safety of children and youth, and promoting respectful relationships.
  4. We believe that how children and youth are policed has critical long-term implications for youths’ ability to fully participate in American society and their respect for the American system of law and order.
  5. We believe that investing in training officers how to interact effectively with children and youth supports the development of positive relationships between youth and officers and strengthens communities.
  6. We believe training programs are most effective when officers and youth are involved in creating and presenting them.
  7. We believe data demonstrating disproportionate rates of police contact with minority youth can be addressed through training, diversion, and innovation.

Service Philosophy: Build & Strengthen to Grow

  • All services are premised on assessing: what does your department need? How can we best meet those needs?
  • Departments are best served by customizing a training to its officers, adopting a train-the-trainer model, and ongoing technical assistance to sustain the training.
  • Police training programs that integrate cutting edge research in practical terms ensure officers leave trainings with concrete skills to apply in the field.

Value Added

  • Assist police departments’ clarification of their approach to working with teens, including updated standards, best practices for deployment of officers, and adoption of best practices
  • Improve quality of Department relations with youth and community, demonstrated by reduced complaints, confrontations and arrests for minor infractions, as well as improved integration of police with community programming and resources
  • Promote use of effective strategies and tactics to help reduce officer’s on the job stress, thereby reducing the escalation of minor conflicts