I Got Arrested! Now What?
In an effort to make the juvenile justice system make more sense to the youth that it serves, the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) in Brooklyn created a comic book called, “I Got Arrested! Now What?” CUP is a non-profit that works with designers and artists to help the city’s residents understand how government functions.
To create the comic that tells the story of how the criminal justice system works, in 2010 CUP teamed with a graphic novelist, the Department of Probation and youth leaders from the Center for Court Innovation. Their goal was to offer clear, engaging instructions for teens that have recently been arrested.
For the Brooklyn-based designer of “I Got Arrested," Danica Novgorodoff, dealing with the unfamiliar terminology of the criminal justice system was one of the challenges. But she said each page has a vocabulary box explaining terminology in a simple way for teenagers.
“I think that graphic novels are a great way to explore material that can otherwise be overly dense or dry," she said.
The comic is available online as a free PDF download (direct link) and includes the full comic, along with a glossary (or in this case, “Words you Might Hear”) and a flowchart style poster that outlines the entire process.
David Backes writes the Friday news roundup for Reclaiming Futures and contributes articles about juvenile justice reform and adolescent substance abuse treatment to ReclaimingFutures.org. He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Santa Clara University. David works as an account executive for Prichard Communications.