The Campaign for Youth Justice, a D.C.-based organization that advocates against the transfer of juveniles to criminal court, has produced the first guidebook for including family members in efforts to reform, improve and monitor the criminal justice system.
“Family Comes First” is a four-part guide on the inclusion of parents, whom the Campaign says have been traditionally held at arm’s length in court proceedings by at both the juvenile and adult systems. It is aimed mostly at policy makers in the legislature, and within criminal justice systems.
The guide begins with an overview on why including parents is important in preventing poor outcomes and abusive patterns of behavior by courts and systems. This is followed by two sections that lay out five examples of systems that already prioritize family engagement, and the lessons learned from them.
Finally, the guide turns to an explanation of three tools for fostering and continuing family engagement. These tools will help policy makers with the following things:
- Explaining how transformation efforts happen and helps readers identify things they can do to initiate action in their agency or community.
- Developing a focus group script to use to solicit feedback of family members.
- Evaluating how well their system complies with the elements of the FAMILY Model.
The guide is available for purchase online for $20, plus shipping. Click here to order.