Positive Impact: Connecting and Communicating with Justice Involved Youth

Positive Impact: Connecting and Communicating with Justice Involved Youth
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-09-01
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Positive Impact
Unit 2Transcript: Positive Impact
Unit 3Workbook: Positive Impact
Unit 4Recording: Positive Impact

The deeper why to the criminal justice system profession is to maintain peace and public safety, to prevent crime from occurring, and when an individual has already committed an offense – to ensure that they do not become repeat offenders. Different agencies and organizations have implemented various programs to reduce recidivism. For Jacob’s Ladder Youth Foundation, this means taking an Insights Approach to address offending in juveniles.

To talk about justice-involved youth, challenges that this population and those helping them face, and steps towards positive outcomes is a panel consisting of:

  • Megan Price, Ph.D., Founder and Director of the Center for Applied Insight Conflict Resolution (CAICR)
  • Jarriel Jordan, Sr., Founder/Executive Director of Jacob’s Ladder Youth Foundation
  • Michael Delaney, Jacob’s Ladder Youth Foundation Board member, volunteer, and educator

Specifics discussed include:

  • Juvenile justice system statistics within the US.
  • Best practices found effective in reducing youth recidivism through quality services and positive experiences in institutions, academic and vocational support, personal development, and family support.
  • An overview of the Jacob’s Ladder Youth Foundation, their mission, operation, and integration of the aforementioned best practices in their services and programs.
  • How the youth in the juvenile justice system experience challenges such as trauma, violence, victimization, economic hardship, lack of positive support, family and social pressure, and hopelessness.
  • How these challenges adversely impact justice-involved youths’ choices, decision-making, relationships, coping mechanisms, and sense of self-worth and accomplishment as their pain clouds their judgment.
  • How law enforcement typically finds justice-involved juveniles in their interactions.
  • How economic difficulties result in further risk factors than tend to be the gateway to juvenile justice system involvement.
  • The value of meaningful connections in preparing justice-involved youths for their future despite their current circumstances.
  • John’s story: How he turned his life around from being about to be expelled in seventh grade due to involvement in school fights to finding his passion in boxing, graduating from college, and learning a trade through Jacob’s Ladder, and inevitably influencing his household towards positive outcomes.
  • The concept of Positive Youth Justice that espouses the importance of attaching and belonging as well as learning and doing to move youth along a positive path.
  • The steps towards meaningful connections.
    • Bringing a conflict perspective where conflict is acknowledged as a result of perception of threat and trauma and victimization.
    • Building and maintaining trust between the youth and the helping adults through transparency, humility, curiosity, and service to be able to collaborate towards a solution.
    • Motivating a positive mindset that brings hope and drives movement towards the right direction.
  • The strategies for communication from a conflict perspective.
    • Identifying conflict behaviors and the feelings of threat that induce them.
    • Discover the threat patterning and get the youth to shift from a reactive state towards one that engages critical thinking.
    • Leveraging active listening to have the youth feel heard and understood.
    • Help problem-solve the threat based on information gleaned from previous steps.
  • A glimpse into the different types of threat that humans tend to experience according to the Insights Approach.
  • Activities that Jacob’s Ladder provides juveniles with to motivate positivity.
  • Strategies that bring hope and usher a positive mindset by:
    • Developing a vision of positive outcomes, success, and a winning culture.
    • Exploring options through exposure to new things that may awaken an interest where they can have fun, receive positive feedback, reward, recognition, love and sense of accomplishment.
    • Identifying passions from the options which teaches them perseverance.
    • Acknowledging their talents, contribution, and value to their loved ones and the community.
    • Offering rewards that ultimately move them in the right direction and assimilate winning into their lives.

Questions from the webinar audience are about:

  • Motivating those suffering from substance abuse problems to get treatment.
  • Training probation staff to create a winning culture.
  • What law enforcement can do to raise awareness on the challenges that system-involved youths face.
  • Liability concerns when taking youths on field trips.
  • Incorporating peer intervention at Jacob’s Ladder.
  • Parents who don’t want to engage.
  • Avoiding compassion fatigue.
  • Enlisting help from local businesses to assist community organizations in juvenile justice programs.


Other Webinars with this Presenter


Or click here to view and register for other upcoming ASEBP webinars or National Sheriffs Association webinars on the JCH Platform.


Resources and Handouts



Audience Comments

  • “Having positive support and building trust with youth can change their outlook on life.” — Anastacia
  • “The most valuable thing I learned was the overall impact we can have on our youth with the proper tools behind us. Staying educated and on top of the latest trends and mental health services will allow me to continue to benefit my kiddos in the Diversion Program. Thank you for having the webinar, it was so informative!!” — Allyson
  • “I learned the importance to connect with justice-involved youth and helping them find their passion and acknowledge their talents.” — Alexa
  • “I enjoyed hearing from the agency, and tips on working with the youth. I liked hearing their real-life examples.” — Aiko Nicole
  • “There are resources out there that assist officers – and justice-involved youths alike – to ensure that juveniles become successful in life.” — Alvin
  • “It was great to see the diversity presenting today. Connections are important and need to be authentic.” — Keshia
  • “Amazing speakers, all of them. Great coverage of a lot of information, yet highly digestible. Really enjoyed it.” — Nathalie
  • “The success stories of the positive engagement and also the collaboration between the Juvenile Justice System and local business owners.” — Andrew
  • “Some helpful hints on dealing with the youth when they are getting angry and also making sure to establish a good core relationship with them before trying to do the work with them.” — Amanda
  • “I loved the examples of the things that have worked for the youth they are working with.” — Blake
  • “The most valuable thing from this webinar is the parent training for the youth. It is very important not only for the youth to get help, but for the immediate family to receive counseling or classes as well. I would like to get more information on the training for parents and what it entails. Great Webinar.” — Jana
  • “Definitely Dr. Price’s section on taking a trauma approach anticipating conflict and defusing the conflict by asking questions, really listening, and finding out what is underlying the youth’s distrust and problems; thereby also building trust through the listening.” — Mary
  • “Very important information for those that work with juveniles. Building trust and active listening will get you a long way, I use these techniques with the young females I have worked with in 30 years of Law Enforcement and 16 years in Juvenile probation. Very rewarding!!!” — Sylvia



The American Society of Evidence-Based Policing is a non-profit organization started by working police officers designed to drive the national conversation towards ensuring that the least harmful, most effective, fairest, and safest strategies are employed to prevent crime, reduce harm, and improve community wellness.





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