(Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)
The City of Philadelphia will begin testing trauma-informed facilities as an alternative to holding cells for arrested youth.
Those facilities, which will be “child-centered” and “service-oriented,” will be funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2018 Mayors Challenge. Philadelphia’s city-led social enterprise incubator FastFWD was funded by way of the Mayors Challenge in 2013.
The 35 finalists for the 2018 challenge have received grants of “up to $100,000” to test public prototypes of their ideas over a six-month period. In October, four of those 35 finalists will win $1 million to scale their prototypes, and one will win $5 million.
Prototyping, or making an early model of an idea, remains underused in the public sector – we aim to change that. Each of the 35 finalist cities in our #MayorsChallenge will receive our support to assess their bold ideas' viability in real-life situations. https://t.co/mdfGBLlwGQ
— Bloomberg Philanthropies (@BloombergDotOrg) February 21, 2018
The Hub for Juvenile Justice is being led by the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) and Stoneleigh Foundation fellow and Defender Association veteran Rhonda McKitten, who has been working with the PPD on interactions with youth of color since 2016.
Several other city agencies, including the district attorney’s office and the managing director’s office, have been involved with the formation of the idea.
The Hub, which will be “a 24/7 integrated service center that is trauma-informed and technology-driven,” will aim to “reduce the amount of time that youth spend in police custody, mitigate youth trauma, and support Philadelphia youth and families,” according to a press release. While the police will be involved, the Hub itself will be a “non-police facility.”
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Through the Hub, youth will have access to “immediate and long-term access to social services and diversion programs.”-30-
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