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Stephen A. Landsman, Esq.

Peter Alvarez, Esq.

Montel Bratcher, M.D.

Arthur Guray, Esq.

Frank Hall

Shannon L. Kennedy, Esq. 

Susan Lowe

Marion Mattingly

Gary J. Simson, Esq.

Lisa H. Thurau, Esq.  
Executive Director


Kim Brooks
Executive Director & Founder Children's Law Center, Inc.

Dr. Lee P. Brown
Brown Consulting Group

Jeffrey A. Butts, Ph.D.
Director, Research & Eval. Center
John Jay College
City University of New York 

Richard Gardell, CEO
180 Degrees, Inc. 
Jaunae Hanger, Esq. 
Waples & Hanger

Judge Paul Lawrence
Gofftown, New Hampshire District Court

Chief William Pittman
Nantucket Police Department

Dr. Margaret Beale Spencer
University of Chicago

Judge Steven C. Teske
Clayton County Juvenile Court
         December 15, 2014           

The autumn of 2014 will be remembered for how police/youth interactions riveted national attention, and led to major protests and demands for reform.  

These incidents have come to symbolize the problems in the relationship between police and youth and have also eclipsed constructive police/youth interactions.

Reason For Hope:
The recent tragedies show that SFY’s programs are sorely needed. We are hopeful that more law enforcement agencies will see the value of training their officers how to police the teen brain and make it a priority.

SFY’s 2013 study showed that American police academies spend an average of only six hours to prepare officers for contacts with youth.
Additionally, our country falls short in preparing young people for contact with law enforcement; we leave that education to families and friends and the media. This is a recipe for disaster.
The brunt of these conflicts is experienced by youth of color. Data from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention shows extreme disparities in arrest, higher use of force, and referrals to courts of youth of color, compared to white youth

Strategies for Reform:
For over four years, SFY has demonstrated the value of training officers and youth on how to interact with each other using effective strategies and programs based in developmental psychology and conflict resolution. The responses from officers make our case:
  • "The tactics of how to de-escalate a situation with an aggravated teen was very helpful."

  • "All officers should attend this training." 

  • "We need to find more prevention/intervention, different avenues within our district."  

  • "I learned how to recognize youth with trauma, mental health issues and how to react"

  • "I wish I'd had this in the Academy 20 years ago. 

  •  "I had no idea I was driving by youth programs offering alternatives for kids. I had no idea the community was doing so much.”
SFY equips both officers and youth with strategies to decrease the potential escalation of interactions, as well as the use of force and arrest. Our programs include: SFY is a Key Part of a Larger Framework of Solutions
Recent events point to the importance of implementing community policing and promoting procedural justice.  

SFY programs have led to remarkable results: Milwaukee reports a 95% decline in use of force incidents by SROs; Cambridge Police Department reports 65% decrease in arrests and 80% in runaways, Indianapolis reports a surge in demand for and use of the Juvenile Justice Jeopardy game, and other departments are using youth-serving community based organizations in lieu of arrest and detention. 

All these efforts help build positive relationships between law enforcement, youth, and communities.

There is an urgent need for SFY’s programs across the country. To continue to provide these programs and build positive momentum, Strategies For Youth needs your financial help.
Please make a gift today. Thank you and best wishes for the holiday season.
Warm regards,

Lisa H. Thurau,
Executive Director

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