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By Devin Ford 

The arts are an incredibly powerful way for people to find their voice. They have the ability to motivate, inspire and change lives.  Throughout the program we heard over and over again that our youth are bored, there is nothing to do, they have no direction, & they feel that the adults in their lives do not care or don’t listen.  What if we gave all our young people a positive way to have a voice?

My mission was to show the kids that they have the tools to tell their story and change their community. What was their story and how do we get them to tell it?

Trust was essential. The first two days were spent doing icebreakers and round table discussions with a licensed therapist. We were able to dive into some deep issues by letting the kids anonymously write down their thoughts and throw them into a box. We then read the answers out loud and it gave them a chance to share their struggles without embarrassment. Many of the breakthroughs with the kids was a direct result of Officer Davis sharing her own story.

Although we had releases from the kids parents we made the decision to not show their faces. During interviews, only myself and the producer were present. We learned that these young people were strong and had faced things that most people could only imagine. We learned that they were hurting. They needed an outlet, a voice.

 During my time at the Strickland Youth Center I met a group of committed individuals who truly love and care about these children. They fight for them every day.  A special thanks to Judge Naman, Jana Mayo, Geoff Tynan & Riley Brenes for making the program a reality.

 -Devin Ford

 Director:                               Devin Ford

Producer:                                            Kyle Bucher

Detention Officer:                                Collese Davis

Licensed Professional Counselor:     Veronica Davis

 

For more information from a story published in Lagniappe in the August 31, 2017 to Sept 6, 2017 issue. click the following link. Art Program   

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How you can help

It's not up to adults and police to do something about youth violence. Adult solutions won't work by themselves. Youth can - and should - do something. If you want to start seeing changes in your school or where you live, here are some things that you should do:

  • be aware there is a problem.
  • recognize that violence affects everyone - anyone can be a victim.
  • talk about violence with your friends and family - take a stand.
  • don' t react to violence with more violence.
  • get together - find ways to help stop violence in your school or where you live before it happens.
  • if there's a youth council, get involved - help promote positive alternatives to youth and gang violence where you live.
  • call or write your local media - let them know the positive alternatives to youth and gang violence where you live.
  • learn the truth about violence in your community - don't let rumors run your life.
  • remember that violent teens are a minority - don't let their actions speak for all youth.

About Strickland

The philosophy of the Strickland youth Center is that helping a troubled youth requires the active participation of the Childs entire family.  Consistent with this philosophy, all treatment programs operated by the Center are designed to include the child’s family.

The total annual operating budget for the Strickland Youth Center is approximately 6.5 million dollars.  It is funded by Mobile County, the City of Mobile, the Department of Youth Services and various grants the State of Alabama.

Judge Naman

 

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"We are fighting for
the hearts and souls
of our children.
It's a fight that only
can be won by
community collaborations
and fresh and
innovative approaches
to building and
strengthening our
families"


 Edmond G. Naman
   Circuit Judge   

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James T. Strickland Youth Center
 

 

Parent Information

Office Hours
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday – Friday

 

Visiting Hours for Detained Juveniles

Tuesday 6-7:30 PM 

Saturday 9-11 AM

 

Community Resources

Family Center of Mobile Web site
http://www.FamilyCenterMobile.org

Mobile County Health Department
http://www.MobileCountyHealth.org

Family Counseling Center of Mobile
http://www.LifelinesMobile.org

Boys and Girls Club of South Alabama 
http://www.bgcsouthal.org

 VISION STATEMENT 

THE JUVENILE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING JUSTICE, PROTECTION, AND INSPIRATION THROUGH GUIDANCE, ACCOUNTABILITY, EDUCATION, AND EFFECTIVE COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS THEREBY EMPOWERING OUR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES TO REALIZE THEIR FULLEST POTENTIAL.