The future of our state is strengthened when we treat youth who have encounters with the juvenile justice system fairly and in developmentally appropriate ways, so that they can be prepared for success as adults. Children’s brains are different, in that their brain centers geared toward impulse-control and planning are still developing; incarcerating youth for what are often minor offenses can negatively alter the growth of adolescents.
A better option for youth is rehabilitation through community-based alternatives to detention or prison. This method can involve diverting youth from the court system and involving trained professionals and families to appropriately respond to an outburst, and providing access to treatment services. In fact, research shows that community-based alternatives are more appropriate for developing youth and less costly than incarceration.
That is why today Voices for Children is proud to co-host a screening event of the documentary Prison Kids: A Crime Against America’s Children, along with Nebraska Youth Advocates, and the Juvenile Law section of the Nebraska State Bar Association. Prison Kids tells the stories of youth involved in the juvenile justice system, and makes the case that we can do better than incarceration when it comes to giving children a second chance to succeed. The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center in Lincoln. Refreshments are provided, and following the screening a discussion panel will be held to elaborate on themes of the film.
Reserve your seat for the Prison Kids screening here.
Find the Ross Center here.