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ICW Trainer reacts to Celtics "Raise the age" advocacy

Jaylen Brown warms up wearing Raise the Age Shirt
All-star Jaylen Brown has been a vocal advocate (yahoo sports)

Earlier this week, the Boston Celtics made waves by taking a public stand in support of Bill H.1826/S.920,  An Act to Promote Public Safety and Better Outcomes for Young Adults. Championed by the Massachusetts Coalition for Juvenile Justice Reform and Citizens for Juvenile Justice the “Raise the Age Bill” proposes a gradual raise to the age of juvenile jurisdiction to include 18-20 year olds. The bill was proposed by legislators Joseph A. Boncore, Cindy F. Friedman, Jack Patrick Lewis, Elizabeth A. Malia, and with public backing from many high profile MA organizations including Steve Pagliuca, Rich Gotham, and the Boston Celtics, it is nearing a vote in the MA legislature.

ICW knows firsthand the effect that a focus on loving support, education, introductions to new networks can have on an individual. In response to the news,  one of our trainers, Daunte, offered his thoughts on how ICW’s model - which focuses on earning trust and building hope - has affected him. He told me, “it gave me not only a blueprint, but actual visuals to see and extract from and apply to my everyday life.” Daunte and many of ICW’s trainers went through the adult carceral system during their transformative years, he called the bill “long overdue” citing the hypocrisy of charging 18, 19, and 20 year olds as adults despite the various “neuroscience, and historical factors” that show these ages are not “adults because their brain is not fully developed.” Speaking on the impact this bill might make, Daunte reflected on his own experience, “I myself witnessed numerous people who probably would’ve got some type of relief from this bill, who will never see that relief because they are no longer with us. And that is a sad testament to the miscarriage of justice that happens everyday within America.”

ICW Trainer Daunte

As Daunte points out, placing these transition age youth in the adult justice system doubles down on harm and trauma, only making things worse. Data from the CDC shows that while this age group makes up a minority in the adult prison system, they have the highest recidivism rate of any group in the system. However, when these individuals are kept in the juvenile system, which focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment, recidivism rates drop from 55% to 26%. The recidivism rate of ICW participants drops from 88% in Stage 1 to roughly 8% in our final stage.

More about the Raise the Age bill here

Listen to our full conversation with Daunte here.

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