Every year, 4,000 arrested Philadelphia children, disproportionately poor children of color, are held in police cells without access to services or trauma-informed staff. Even youth who are not ultimately charged experience this trauma. The City of Philadelphia has received a $1 million award from the Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge to address this problem by creating a developmentally appropriate, trauma informed Juvenile Justice HUB as an alternative to holding youth in police districts following arrest. This award provides funding over a three year period beginning January 1, 2019.
The Hub will be a trauma-informed and child-centered alternative to Philadelphia’s current juvenile arrest process. Currently, young people are detained in holding cells designed for adults while arresting officers spend hours on intake and locating parents before the case filing begins. Police are poorly situated to address youth trauma after arrest. Police facilities are not designed to meet the safety, mental health, or social service needs of youth.
In the future, officers will transport arrested youth to the Hub and return quickly to patrol. Trauma-trained Hub staff, skilled in adolescent development and de-escalation, will contact caregivers and conduct a preliminary needs assessment for youth, reducing the need for restraints and force, and removing the trauma from the arrest process.
Almost half of arrested youth are never formally processed through the juvenile justice system, either due to diversion or declined charges. The Hub will: 1) identify youth for diversion immediately after arrest; 2) assess the needs of diverted youth 3) link children and families to service providers and follow up on referrals 4) improve procedures for processing youth who are charged in the juvenile justice system, and 5) create alternatives to post-arrest holding for low-risk youth.
Position Summary and Essential Functions
The Project Manager will assist the Hub Steering Committee and Strategic Working Group in coordinating the Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Hub project. The Project Manager will be an employee of the Managing Director’s Office and will work under the day-to-day direction of the Project Director. The Project Manager will be housed at the Philadelphia Police Department.