By Benjamin Chambers, March 24 2009
Want to do something positive with teens in the justice system? Give them a camera. Teach them how to use digital media.
Who knows? They might make a movie about the danger of making false assumptions about other people -- passing judgment on themselves, for example.
Don't believe me? Check out the trailer for a film made by nine young inmates in jail in Westchester County, NY (right next door, by the way, to the Reclaiming Futures site in Nassau County, NY). According to The New York Times, their movie, "Judgement," was recently screened before "a packed house." Two of the young men were able to attend in person; several more, still incarcerated, attended by video feed. (UPDATE: the film is available at YouTube in two parts - thanks to Youth Today's blog for the tip!)
Hint to Reclaiming Futures sites: having youth in the justice system tell their stories is a great sustainability tool, and it helps inspire community members to get involved in their lives.
Check out this roundup post for more examples of multimedia about youth in the juvenile justice system.
Don't have the equipment to make a movie? Teens benefit from creative outlets such as poetry, too. And all you need is a pen and a piece of paper.
Topics: Community Engagement, Juvenile Justice Reform, No bio box, Positive Youth Development, Reclaiming Futures, Youth Engagement
Updated: February 08 2018