Kids In Detention Access To Siblings Full
Reflecting on National Siblings Day, in a juvenile justice context, reminds us that if we had ever been caught doing the delinquent acts we may have done as kids, we would be denied the support of some of the closest people to us.

But a stint in jail is arguably one of the toughest times young people can go through, which means they need all the support they can get. Even if a detention stay is short (the average time kids stay in detention is about three days), it’s still a scary and stressful experience. Being able to hug their brothers and sisters or get their advice is  crucial to reducing the trauma of being ripped out of their homes. Reflecting on National Siblings Day, in a juvenile justice context, reminds us that if we had ever been caught doing the delinquent acts we may have done as kids, we would be denied the support of some of the closest people to us. 

Denying youth opportunities to connect and spend time with their siblings goes against the research that says kids who get more visits do better. Visits improve the likelihood that youth will behave more responsibly while detained, which improves the safety of others they are locked up with, and reduces the possibility of recidivism when they return home. The example of Sedgwick County proves that giving kids access to their siblings can only help, not hinder, their progress while detained.

Hopefully, the presentation at JDAI will give other agencies the confidence that they, too, can change. With additional help from Vera, these facilities can follow in the footsteps of Kansas and give kids in detention the support, and familial love, that they deserve.