About The Y & J Forum
The Forum seeks to address longtime tensions between communities of color and law enforcement, with a focus on minority youth. Presentations, dialogue, and interactive scenarios are used to teach youth their rights and responsibilities, particularly when interacting with law enforcement, as well as to spotlight the impact of issues such as violations of constitutional rights, systemic bias, racial profiling, over-policing, the no-snitching culture, cultural diversity training and obstacles faced by Black and minority law enforcers, among other issues. Improving communication and building trust is key to improving community-police relations, (re)establishing mutual respect, and reducing the likelihood of negative interactions and outcomes.
The Forum’s target population is minority youth ages 10-18, with a specific focus on minority youth. Black and Hispanic youth comprised 73 percent of youth referred to the Clark County Juvenile Justices Services for acts of delinquency, according to its 2019 Statistical Report. The long-term goal is for the Forum to be included in the suite of diversionary options designed to deter youth becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. In addition to targeting minority youth, we promote this event to Title I Middle Schools and High Schools. These campuses have high numbers of students that qualify for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program. Since 2019, the local chapter of the Juvenile Justice Probation Officers Association (JJPOA) have brought probationary youth to the Forum.