Dorchester Bay’s Youth Force went to work this summer, tackling the issue of youth criminalization. In Massachusetts, youth are often times criminalized at an early age, and youth of color being criminalized at higher rates than their white counterparts. Many young people in our communities have harrowing stories about police encounters in their schools and in their neighborhoods. This not only affects them in the present but damages future employment, education, and other opportunities.
To address criminalization of youth in Massachusetts, Youth Force teens organized a forum for major stakeholders to elevate their voices around this important issue, and to demand reforms to the youth criminal justice system.
The forum was attended by political leaders as well as leaders connected to the criminal justice system, including: State Rep Evandro Carvalho, State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins, Police Superintendent Randall Hallstead and Commissioner of Probation Edward Dolan.