Join WCAAP on September 21 at 7 AM for a webinar presentation on Justice Involved Youth and learn ways that you can work in your clinical setting, local community and through advocacy to decrease the impact of this harmful event on our young people. Involvement with the justice system often sets the stage for re-incarceration that makes the US the leader in the industrialized world for the rate of both adult and youth incarceration.
Washington State arrested over 11,000 youth ages 12 to 17 each year between 2017 and 2019 and additionally each of those years over 250 children ages 8 to 11 were referred for court action through arrest or from school and agency referrals. There is improvement in the rates of arrest and incarceration both nationally and in our state, but harmful practices persist and there is great county-by-county variation. Children as young as age 8 can be arrested and placed in detention. There is overreliance on incarceration rather than diversion in many counties in our state, and this is especially true for Black, Hispanic and Native American youth. Many counties still detain more youth for relatively minor offenses than for serious ones. Community programs are very limited for detained youth with mental health and substance abuse issues and incarceration only worsens these conditions.
There are many risk and protective factors that are associated with a youth becoming involved with the justice system and these are factors that can be screened for in a clinical setting, discussed with youth and their families and referrals made to community and school resources to decrease risk factors and enhance protective factors. Your advocacy at the patient, community, county and state level can make important changes in the impact of the justice system on our youth. Join us for this presentation and discussion: Register Here.
WCAAP thanks Community Health Plan of Washington and Amerigroup for their support of our Equity Webinar Series.