Youth/Police

The Invisible institute in conjunction with the University of Chicago law School’s legal-aid clinic created the program Youth/police that works with schools’ media programs to provide students an outlet to talk about their interactions with police officers on Chicago’s South Side, an area with tense police-civilian relations. The program provides a forum for teenagers to talk about how their lives have been affected by the character of police presence in their neighborhoods. The aim of the group is to allow for discussions of personal experience to act as an outlet for teens who may be frustrated by issues like police profiling. Participants communicate a sense of powerlessness in their everyday encounters with law enforcement. These concerns aren’t unique to Chicago or cities where police incidents have sparked unrest and protests. Among concerns raised by the program are a lack of adolescent development understanding caught in police academies, which could help to diffuse inner city youth and police tensions.

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