New Virtual Series to Highlight Justice System and Policing Alternatives
A virtual three-part national symposium will present alternatives to the kinds of traditional policing, probation, placement, and parole approaches that have perpetuated systemic injustice. On the Road to Unlocked!: Investing in Our Children and Communities is hosted by The Social Justice Initiative of Bryn Mawr College and Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc., an alternative to youth incarceration and out-of-home placement.
Session one of the series takes place 12:00 pm-1:30 pm (ET), Thursday, August 20. Youth First Initiative Policy Director Carmen Daugherty is the session moderator. Daugherty supports state-based campaigns by developing policy options, reviewing legislation, proposed budgets, and creating state and national reports on youth incarceration.
Speakers include:

Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, President and CEO of the St. Louis, MO-based Deaconess Foundation -- In 2014, the governor of Missouri appointed Rev. Wilson to co-chair the Ferguson Commission to study the underlying conditions that impede progress, equality and safety and make policy recommendations following the police shooting death of Michael Brown, Jr.
Shadoe Tarver, Associate Director of Community Safety with Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) in Brooklyn. SOS works to prevent gun violence in Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods by mediating conflicts that may end in gun violence and acting as peer counselors to the people who are at risk of perpetrating or being victimized by violence. It is NYC's first and longest standing Cure Violence Site.
Seventeen-year-old Travontay (“Tray”) – Tray received intensive community-based mentoring and wraparound services from YAP as an alternative to youth incarceration.

Following the panelists’ presentations on effective community safety alternatives, Daugherty will open the discussion to questions from attendees.
Note: This event is co-sponsored by Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research (GSSWSR) for a maximum of 1.5 credit hours. Bryn Mawr College GSSWSR, as a CSWE accredited School of Social Work, is a pre-approved provider of continuing education for Social Workers, professional counselors, and marriage and family therapists in Pennsylvania and many other states.
These Advocates are on the Front Lines of Reinventing the Kinds of Systems that Perpetuate Racism
Every day, they’re in their neighbors’ homes, delivering rehabilitative services that would otherwise happen in youth prisons and congregate treatment facilities. Employees of Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. know firsthand the work and rewards of reinventing systems that have a long history of perpetuating racial injustice. YAP’s services are a community-based alternative to incarcerating and institutionalizing justice- and child welfare-involved youth.

A Timely Report: National Human Services Assembly’s Roadmap for Reforming Youth Justice
By Jeff Fleischer, Youth Advocate Programs CEO/National Human Services Assembly Chair 

The National Human Services Assembly (NHSA), in light of the George Floyd killing and the Covid 19 pandemic, is re-releasing our 2017 publication; Beyond Bars: Keeping Young People Safe at Home and Out of Youth Prisons, a roadmap for reform that calls on state and local policymakers, juvenile justice administrators, police and judges to end the practice of youth incarceration and instead invest in community-based alternatives.

This report is more relevant today than ever before as policy makers and legislatures are looking to develop alternatives to policing, probation, youth detention, youth prison and parole.

Community safety should be defined by more than law enforcement and carrots and sticks; it’s about all the things that characterize safe neighborhoods, like access to good schools and jobs, opportunities to learn, grow, develop, and play in safe environments.

The array of services available to justice-involved young people should exist at every point in the justice system, from an alternative to arrest to an alternative to out-of-home placement and aftercare that can hasten return home from a placement.

Learn more in this roadmap for reform from the National Human Services Assembly.
YAP in the News
Diasee Scott shared his experience as a YAP participant at a news conference where Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced the state’s plans for a community-based approach to youth justice.
In a TV news story, New Milford, PA YAP’s Behavioral Health Services professionals and a family they served talked about support during the pandemic.
YAP Senior Executive Gary Ivory is featured in “It’s Time to Close Youth Prisons," a Fair and Just Prosecution documentary.
Walker County, AL YAP is featured in a story that highlights the team’s School-based Behavioral Health Services and how the county’s efforts are being recognized statewide.
YAP Human Resources Chief Naomi Frazier took part in a series of reports where Black professionals shared their expertise in support of Central PA Black business owners.