Earlier this month, Sen. Sal DiDomenico partnered with Rep. Kay Khan and the Judge Baker Children’s Center to host a forum at the State House discussing the juvenile justice system and the organization’s report, “Promoting Positive Outcomes for Justice-Involved Youth: Implications for Policy, Systems and Practice.”
The Judge Baker Children’s Center is a Boston-based nonprofit and affiliate of Harvard Medical School that works to promote children’s physical and emotional well-being. The forum, which was attended by a large number of legislators and staff, was organized to develop a comprehensive policy for helping children and families trapped in the juvenile justice system.
At the event, Sen. DiDomenico spoke about the importance of supporting the whole child in order to put all kids on a path to success. “One of my top priorities in the State House is our youth, our young people,” said DiDomenico. “We must give them every opportunity to succeed and every opportunity to have what they rightly deserve. If we leave even one child behind, then we as a society have failed. We are living in a state and a country where we should not have any young people involved in the justice system, and it is our responsibility to fix that.”
The report found that children who grow up in unstable homes are more likely to end up in the juvenile justice system. To rectify this, it recommended that the state create a care system that is “youth-centered, family-focused, community-based, culturally responsive, and minimally intrusive.”