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What Youth Want: The Essential Components of Successful Community-Based Alternatives to Carceral Systems

By | February 20, 2024

Stoneleigh Visiting Fellow Lauren Fine has published a new report on her Participatory Action Research with a small group of young adults (aged 18-24) with lived experience in Philadelphia’s youth justice system. The report identifies and examines the essential components of successful community-based alternatives to carceral systems. 

Philadelphia’s juvenile justice system is in crisis. The current failed response to detention overcrowding and lack of services—a response grounded in the language of crisis—is also an opportunity to transform the system.

Momentum for change is building, but too often, conversations about reform exclude those who have had the most direct and personal experience with the system. As last year’s Stoneleigh Visiting Fellow, Lauren Fine focused on the perspectives of young people with lived experience with Philadelphia’s juvenile justice system, and their views about transforming that system and alternatives to incarceration for youth.

The goal of this report is to begin to understand what works and what does not in existing juvenile justice programs, and what youth see as essential components and prerequisites for successful alternative approaches to incarceration.

View the Report

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Lauren Fine, Esq.

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