At its October meeting, the Vanguard Court Council invited representatives from a federally funded program, Yolo County’s Juvenile Probation Minority Disproportionate Contact Project, to speak. This is a juvenile justice program whose mission is to reduce disproportionate contact in Yolo County between youths of color and police.
The guest speaker, Saleem Shakir, an expert digital media consultant from the W. Haywood Burns Institute, spoke of the ways that community members and parents of children going through the juvenile justice system could participate in the DMC Collaborative to turn feelings and experiences into policies to reduce youth of color contact with the police and other phases of the juvenile justice system.
When the attendees learned of the mission, their interest ignited. To follow up, Shakir offered a “Coach-Up” training that teaches policy-making skills to community and parents of youth offenders. One of the Latino attendees said he did not want to waste time attending another police-sponsored community ice cream and cake social. Shakir, understanding the attendee’s frustration and mistrust, responded that the skills he offers had been tried throughout the United States and research has documented their effectiveness.
The children most affected by over-representation in the juvenile justice system in Yolo County are Latino youths. Yolo County Latino residents contribute much to this county. This is an opportunity to solve a problem that affects the core of Latino family life. Please come and please pass this information to residents in Woodland and West Sacramento. Their input is needed.
The Juvenile Justice Probation Department is holding a Coach-Up training led by Shakir on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at CommuniCare Health Center, 804 Court St. in Woodland.