When young men in Shelby County are set to be tried as adults, they are kept in a special pod at Jail East, the women’s jail. These teens are often battling feelings of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. The Juvenile Justice Project and members of the G.O.T. Power training department are partnering for a series of workshops with the youth at Jail East to assist these young people in developing skills for exploring their trauma, practicing self care through movement, and building leadership skills.
This past week, we had our first session at Jail East. We spent our time getting to know each other, getting comfortable moving in our bodies, and exploring our hopes for the future. We had a wonderful time getting to know these young men, who were suprisingly open and full of laughter. We are so excited to continue getting to know these resilient teens.
The JJP has also been continuing its core mission: working to assist Juvenile Court by building networks of churches and organizations to address our high number of youth offenders and the lack of opportunities for court ordered community service, specifically in the areas of Hickory Hill & Bartlett. We believe that youth are the solution, not the problem. We work with young people to help them find their place in the community through transformative service opportunities. Studies continue to show that punitive measures lead to a continued contact with the criminal justice system, as opposed to seeking more rehabilitative and restorative alternatives. MSPJC believes that no ammount of empathy or academic knowledge can match the expertise that comes with lived experience. That’s why we’re working with young people who are the most directly affected by youth crime and violence to find solutions to these issues. Help us build a better Memphis, partner with our youth!