Seeing What’s Underneath: A Resource for Understanding Behavior & Using Language in Juvenile Court

The words we choose have a significant impact on the young people we serve. We may inadvertently use language laden with bias, disapproval, and negative judgment that can impact youths’ perceptions of themselves. Our language can also impact our own thinking and decision-making.

In Part I of this guide, we hope to break down some of the barriers between young people who experience juvenile court and the adults who work in it. The guide can help system actors understand and respond to normal adolescent behaviors with compassion and empathy and develop strategies that validate a young person’s anxiety and trauma. We suggest some selfreflection questions to consider.

In Part II we offer guidance on the language used in juvenile court and encourage system actors to adopt language that affirms the dignity and value of all youth.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Gault Center Publications, Policy Tool, Resource Library
Tags: Collaboration, Language, Racial Justice