Our series on Stop-and-Frisk continues as we take a look at what it means to ‘come of age’ under stop-and-frisk. Over the next two days, we’ll focus on the impact on young people in New York City dealing with stop-and-frisk and how U.S. youth mobilize to resist criminalization.
Young adults, between the ages of 18 and 25, comprise at least half of all recorded stops in NYC. In 2012, over 286,000 young people in this age group were stopped and frisked. A study by the Vera Institute on Youth Justice recorded that young people in NYC are now less willing to report crimes, even when they are the victims. What does it mean to grow up within a system that targets, rather than protects, you? How do U.S. youth envision their futures within a system they fear?
In December 2010, the Community Justice Network For Youth (CJNY) organized a conference in D.C. to address the injustices within the U.S. juvenile justice system. They called on youth, parents and advocates to share their personal experiences and research on the justice system and create a vision of alternatives to youth incarceration. The keynote speaker, Chino Hardin (the Institute for Juvenile Justice Reform and Alternatives and Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions), addressed the audience by sharing a personal journey as a youth within the prison system. “In my youth I was arrested sixteen times and incarcerated on eight different occasions, so I know what goes on inside the walls of juvenile detention centers,” says Chino.
While Chino addressed the broken policing systems in America, Chino also instilled hope for the future, “Sometimes, you’ve gotta make the bridge by walking and sometimes that bridge is gonna be your back… [but justice will come].” Here is Chino’s keynote address (14:55):
Envisioning a better future, a future beyond stop-and-frisk, means creating a future that listens to the voices of young people. In Hardin’s words, “The children are the future… we’ve gotta make sure they can hold it and they can’t hold it if their hands are cuffed behind their back.”
Do you have a personal story that you want to share related to stop-and frisk? JustPublics@365 is collecting digital stories related to stop-and-frisk and we would love to hear your voice. If you are interested, please contact Morgane Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, “Stop-and-Frisk Digital Storytelling.”
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For more information on the The Vera Institute Study, take a look at Coming of Age with Stop and Frisk: Experiences, Self-Perceptions, and Public Safety Implications or contact Jennifer Fratello at email@example.com. Tomorrow, our series will offer focus on this study.
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This post is part of the Monthly Social Justice Topic Series on Stop-And-Frisk. If you have any questions, research that you would like to share related to Stop-and-Frisk or are interested in being interviewed for the series, please contact Morgane Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, “Stop-and-Frisk Series.”