Discover the police-youth dialogue (PYD) as a method to build trustworthiness, mend relationships, and heal historical harms between black youth and law enforcement.
This timely book from the Justice and Peacebuilding series offers an explanation of the need for meaningful dialogue between law enforcement and black youth, a blueprint for implementing police-youth dialogues, best practices and examples, anecdotes and narratives from participants, different models and formats, potholes and limitations, and tangible tools and action steps for starting a police-youth dialogue program. Ultimately, the strategies and techniques used in effective police-youth dialogues can bring attention to issues of implicit bias and the impact of toxic stress on marginalized groups, ameliorate tensions between law enforcement officers and black youth, and build toward a model of community policing and restorative justice rather than punitive discipline and violence.
The Little Book of Police-Youth Dialogue presents readers with relevant knowledge and research regarding trauma and race in the United States, strategies for creating a safe space of attentive listening and mediating genuine connections between police officers and black youth, and specific ways to take action in ameliorating police-youth tensions and promoting healing in their local communities.
About the Author
Dr. Micah E. Johnson is a sociologist trained in criminology and substance abuse epidemiology and currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the University of South Florida. He is also the founder of Johnson Forensic Services and serves in the state and federal court system as an expert witness in sociology and criminology. He has mentored police officers in communication and cultural competence and helped facilitate foundational Police Youth Dialogues with the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding. Micah’s philanthropic and research interests are fueled by his personal experiences with childhood trauma, poverty, and racial inequalities. He lives in Tampa, Florida.
Jeffrey Weisberg is the Executive Director of the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding. His work with youth includes: police/youth dialogues, student/educator dialogues, peer mediation, juvenile diversion programs, social/emotional learning, restorative justice, youth empowerment and coming of age programs. For the past 25 years, Jeffrey has served as a Florida Certified State Mediator and mediates cases involving juvenile offenders, family disputes and conflict within small business and organizations. In addition, he is using Restorative Practices to support the Department of Juvenile Justice, the court system, schools, prisons and communities to bolster alternatives to the punitive model. He is a founding member of The Peace Alliance. He lives in Gainesville, Florida.