The Center for Court Innovation uses police-youth dialogues as a means of building trust and understanding between young people and police officers in their communities.
The Center has extensive experience collaborating with law enforcement and community groups. Our Red Hook Community Justice Center in southwest Brooklyn facilitates regular "Bridging the Gap" police-youth dialogues and activities. The series, aimed at building relationships, breaking down stereotypes, and providing space for conversations about shared goals for the community, has since expanded into other parts of Brooklyn, Harlem, and Staten Island with plans to hold events in all five of New York City's boroughs. An earlier police-youth dialogue sponsored by our Youth Justice Board is featured in our video, Talking It Through.
Building on the Center’s expertise in this area, the Center and the United States Department of Justice COPS Office published the Police-Youth Dialogues Toolkit in 2015 as a resource for communities hoping to foster conversations between young people and the police. The goal of the toolkit is to help police and young people honestly discuss their interactions and find common ground. Drawing from projects across the country, the toolkit consolidates expertise, providing strategies and promising practices for police-youth dialogues.