Strengthening Families and CommunitiesSupporting Kids and Young Adults

Family and Community Engagement

Young people thrive in the context of supportive families and communities—which means the undoing of failed juvenile justice policy that severed these ties in a crude effort to steer young people away from negative influences. We’re working in Indiana, Virginia, and Sedgwick County, Kansas, to increase the involvement of supportive family members in the lives of detained youth, long before they are released—projects poised to expand the body of evidence that supports family engagement. Other work engineers community-based support—including a partnership in Illinois to strengthen aftercare.

Related Work

Series: It Takes a Village

Collaboration is key when it comes to keeping kids out of the justice system

The title of our latest report on diversion strategies—“It Takes a Village”—is no accident. School administrators and teachers, law enforcement officials, service providers, and families all play key roles in keeping young people out of the juvenile justice system. Often, however, these groups are not effectively partnering with each other to find ...

Blog Post
  • Erin  Dostal Kuller
    Erin Dostal Kuller
September 15, 2016
Blog Post

Series: It Takes a Village

Closing the schoolhouse door to the juvenile justice system

Schools can be a critical diversion point for young people at risk of entering the juvenile justice system, as detailed in Vera’s recent report on diversion strategies for youth. Exclusionary school disciplinary practices, such as suspensions or expulsions, make it significantly more likely that young people will be arrested in future years. School...

Blog Post
  • Erin  Dostal Kuller
    Erin Dostal Kuller
September 07, 2016
Blog Post

Series: It Takes a Village

It takes a village

Collaboration is key to keeping kids out of the juvenile justice system

15-year-old J.B. is involved in a minor scuffle at a park. Instead of arresting him, police call a local crisis response program to address the behavior. J.B. receives counseling and is enrolled in an action plan to improve his grades, joins an ROTC program, and begins working student concessions at basketball games. His academic and extracurricula...

Blog Post
  • Erin  Dostal Kuller
    Erin Dostal Kuller
June 30, 2016
Blog Post