The Intersection of Juvenile Justice and Early Childhood: How to Maximize Family Engagement
16 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2019
Date Written: April 10, 2019
This Article reviews the literature describing the cumulative effects of parental incarceration on early childhood. The Article then explores family engagement policy – the systemic inclusion of family in activities that promote children’s development and overall well-being –its impact on child outcomes generally, and specifically in the context of Juvenile Justice law, policy and practice. This is distinct from family involvement, which means that families are included in proceedings but not necessarily on par with decision makers. Put another way, a justice organization that focuses on family engagement listens to families as partners, while a justice organization that focuses on family involvement talks to families about proceedings or plans. This Article also discusses family engagement and visitation for incarcerated youth who are parents themselves, and specifically explores new research on the Just Beginning Program, a structured visitation program designed for young fathers in juvenile or criminal justice facilities that aims to maintain, build and strengthen the relationship between father and child during the period of incarceration. The Article concludes with recommendations for juvenile justice facilities and legal advocates to increase family engagement in juvenile justice facilities.
Keywords: Juveniles, Juvenile Justice, Baby Elmo, Just Beginning, Child, Children, Parents, Fathers, Mothers, Visitation, Detention, Child Development, Recidivism, Teen Father, Teen Parent, Teen Mother, Intervention, Mass Incarceration, Prison, Jail, Family, School, Education, Reentry, Incarcerated, Youth
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