According to reports, nearly 60,000 youth under the age of 18 are incarcerated in juveniles, jails, or prisons in the United States. What we need to know is that when juveniles are imprisoned, a lot of thing go wrong. This happens because, they are cut off from families, and their education is disrupted, exposing them to more trauma and violence. Thereby harming their development and resulting in lifelong negative consequences.
Therefore, having family support during this period of time is very important. Involving families throughout the experience, right from their trial to imprisonment often leads to positive outcomes for the youth.
It is important to understand that any form of communication during this period, offers strength and support to these juveniles. Juveniles often remain incarcerated from the time that they are arrested, up to, and through their court hearings. Communication, love, and positivity for a child is important for their emotional and psychological development. Taking a cue from all of the above mentioned factors, Jamey Sill came up with an idea which will help connect inmates with the world outside. This is an app which gave life to all inmates and their loving families.The core thought of this is to connect and reconnect inmates with their loved ones. The hearts of people on the outside and the inmates are torn, no matter how minute the crime committed. Through picture letter, picture cards, and postcards, staying connected with the outside world is now made all with the help of this one app – Inmate Compassion.
How will involving families will help juveniles?
• It will help reducing anxiety
• It will provide youth with an advocate who can help them articulate their needs
• It will increase the chances of a smooth transition home once their involvement with the juvenile justice system ends
And how will it benefit families?
• They get to know consistently what is happening with the child
• Understanding the process and expectations of the juvenile justice system will help them make a more informed decisions about their child
• Families feel valued for the important information that they can share about their child, especially strengths and needs; typical patterns of behaviour; and educational background
• They have the opportunity to offer reading materials and help educate the child
How does the juvenile system benefit?
• Gaining important and reliable knowledge and insights about a youth from family members
• Also, establishing working partnerships with families that increase the likelihood that families and youth will follow through with service plans
• Building a sense of shared responsibility for youth and improving agency culture and staffmorale with the youth
• Helping to reduce the “odds” of the child coming back into the system, once released.
Therefore, a meaningful partnerships between families and the juvenile justice system professionals, based on a mutual understanding and respect for each side’s perspective, can increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for youth’s future.