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Discussion on alternatives to juvenile detention at Gage Gallery on Oct. 23

Posted: 10/18/2012
Roosevelt University’s Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation, Project NIA and experts and community organizations working with youth in Chicago will come together on Oct. 23 for a critical dialogue about how to keep kids out of Cook County’s juvenile detention and incarceration system.

More than 50 people, including policy makers, juvenile justice experts and members of the faith-based community, are expected to attend the discussion entitled “Alternatives to juvenile detention and incarceration: Can we succeed? What will it take?” that is being held at 5:30 p.m. in Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery, 18 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

“This is an opportunity for all who have a stake in shaping a positive future for our youth to come together and discuss ways to keep kids out of the juvenile justice detention system,” said Nancy Michaels, associate director at the Mansfield Institute.

The discussion will focus on policies that can promote community-based alternatives to juvenile confinement in Cook County; as well as how referrals are made to diversion programs and community-based alternatives that take a holistic approach to dealing with the needs of youth, many whom are struggling with drug dependencies, disabilities, mental health and trauma issues, and whether there is enough funding to sustain the work of these organizations. There will also be a discussion related to the disproportionate rate of African-American youth being funneled into the juvenile justice system.

Among those who are discussants at the event are: Cook County Juvenile Court Judge Colleen Sheehan; Carmen Casas, deputy chief of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative at Cook County’s Juvenile Probation and Court Services program; the Rev. Matt DeMeteo, a pastor at New Life Community Church in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood and the director of New Life’s Urban Life Skills program; Anthony Lewis, manager of the county’s Juvenile Justice Diversion Program; and Cliff Nellis of the Lawndale Christian Legal Center.

The public is invited to attend the summit. For information and/or to reserve a space at the summit, contact Nancy Michaels at or 312-341-2150.