October 2017 Newsletter

New Tools and Resources

Dear Friends:

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been battered by the onslaught of bad news this fall: hurricanes, fires, shootings, political unrest. As an antidote to all the bad news, SFY is pleased to announce the release of new resources to provide you with support and to help you navigate some challenges that youth and officers face.

We encourage you to check out these resources, share them with others, and send us your feedback.

Lisa Thurau
Executive Director



A New Tool for Back to School

SFY has created a new tool, The Parent Checklist, for parents, advocates, schools and school resource officers to clarify the relationship between school-based law enforcement and students. The Parent Checklist has just been updated and re-issued to address questions about youth with disabilities and youth with undetermined immigration status. Please share it!

The response to the Checklist has been exciting.  “I can’t even answer all these questions,” wrote one SRO. “I better do my homework.”  One youth advocate reported, “We’ve been using the Checklist and already see an impact—the school has published the memorandum of understanding on the website and now we know how much is being spent on SROs.”

And consider using Be Her Resource: A Toolkit About School Resource Officers and Girls of Color  published by the National Black Women’s Justice Institute and the Georgetown Center on Poverty & Inequality.  This toolkit gives parents, advocates, and others resources to address the exploding disparities in use of school-based arrests for girls of color.  Like SFY, this Toolkit recommends training for SROs to learn both developmentally appropriate approaches to youth and how they intersect with gender issues.



Juvenile Justice Jeopardy All Across America

SFY has hired a new Juvenile Justice Director and Staff Attorney,
James I. Durodola. James has spent over 10 years as a defender for youth and adults in Massachusetts and North Carolina. At SFY, James has hit the ground running, playing Jeopardy for the NBA Full Court Press clinics with 65 youth in Springfield, MA, and 160 youth in Oklahoma City, OK. The next game with the NBA is in Tampa…James is otherwise busy creating new games for sites in California, Indiana and Massachusetts!


Explaining Trauma to Officers & Youth

Thanks to the work of two Forest Foundation interns this past summer, Frances Snellings and Hannah Stenberg, SFY has a new information sheet for our Policing the Teen Brain trainings. Law enforcement officers are not trained in recognizing trauma or responding to it in ways the reduce escalation of minor offenses. This is a major topic in SFY’s Policing the Teen Brain trainings.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) causing trauma are a significant predictor for youth involvement in the juvenile justice system; indeed, in a study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 70% of incarcerated youth had been victims of violence or witnessed it. Yet, as a country, few systems teach youth how to understand trauma’s impacts. To address this, SFY has created a special version of Juvenile Justice Jeopardy that uses the game to teach youth about trauma, its physical and psychological impacts, and techniques for reducing anxiety and recognizing traumatized responses in their interactions with others. Interested? Give us a call—we are looking for folks to pilot the new game.