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If Not Now, When? A Survey of Juvenile Justice Training in America’s Police Academy

Over the past decade, police have become a ubiquitous presence in the lives of many youths, particularly those living in disadvantaged communities. They are now routinely deployed in public schools. As social and mental health services have been scaled back, police are frequently the first responders in domestic disputes involving juveniles. Yet, police confronting youths in a variety of deeply challenging situations and settings receive surprisingly little training about adolescent psychology and behavior. Strategies for Youth (SFY), an organization founded in 2010 with the express aim of improving interactions between youths and police, conducted a national, comprehensive survey on the state of training about juveniles available in police academies.