Advocates Share How They’re Transforming Policing and Youth Justice Systems

    Advocates transforming policing and youth justice systems in their communities shared their experiences with nearly 300 participants in a national virtual symposium.

    Carmen Daugherty, Youth First Initiative Policy Director, Event Moderator

    Moderated by Youth First Initiative Policy Director Carmen Daugherty, the conversation was part one of a three-part virtual symposium, On the Road to Unlocked!: Investing in Our Children and Communities.

    Dr. Darlyne Bailey, Director, Social Justice Initiative of Bryn Mawr College

    Event hosts Dr. Darlyne Bailey, Director of The Social Justice Initiative of Bryn Mawr College, and Jeff Fleischer, CEO of Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc., an alternative to youth incarceration and out-of-home placement, introduced and framed session one.

    Jeff Fleischer, Youth Advocate Programs CEO

    Bailey and Fleischer outlined examples of a community “continuum of care” that can serve as an alternative to the kinds of traditional policing, probation, placement, and parole approaches that have perpetuated systemic injustice.

    Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, President and CEO of the St. Louis, MO-based Deaconess Foundation talked about his work as co-chair the Ferguson Commission, which made policy recommendations following the police shooting death of Michael Brown, Jr.

    Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, President and CEO, Deaconess Foundation

    The recommendations were informed by the commission’s work to understand systemic conditions that impede progress, equality and safety.

    Shadoe Tarver, Associate Director of Community Safety with Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) in Brooklyn shared examples of his team’s work to prevent gun violence in the Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods.

    Shadoe Tarver, Associate Director, Community Safety with Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) in Brooklyn

    The city’s first and longest standing Cure Violence Site, the community-based organization trains and supports conflict mediators, peer counselors and other neighborhood-based credible messengers who deliver services to people who are at risk of perpetrating or being victimized by violence.

    Travontay, 17, received services from YAP as an alternative to youth prison

    Seventeen-year-old Travontay (“Tray”) talked about an incident that nearly landed him in youth prison and how intensive community-based mentoring and wraparound services from YAP served as an effective alternative to incarceration.

    Hear short clips from the presentation in the video in this post. For context, please watch the full session/complete presentations and learn more about the virtual series at