The Parent Professional Advocacy League surveyed 151 parents who have juvenile justice-involved youth regarding their experience with family peer support. There has been little research done on the impact of family peer support for families whose children are juvenile justice involved, so this study offers an eye-opening view of the topic. Bottom line? Families improve when they have family peer support. Troubling news? The survey exposed marked inequities along racial lines. Survey results showed that twice as many African American youth had been expelled than Caucasian youth. Also, African American youth were most likely to be sent home from school with instructions to get an evaluation of their “dangerousness” before they could return. The rate of arrest by a school resource office for African American students (29%) was nearly double the overall rate.
Thank you PPAL for shedding light on the importance of family peer support for justice-involved families and a searing reminder that we have much to do to address racial inequities in the provision of services and supports.