The film The Color of Justice discusses the problems in the juvenile justice system today. We now have more minorities incarcerated yet the data shows that they are not the only ones out committing crimes. In the video it stated that in Connecticut the data stated that children of color were three times more likely to get in trouble with the law then white children. The film discusses the importance of educating juveniles on their rights to avoid future problems. The idea is to give juveniles the education to know what will happen in a police encounter so they are not scared of police.
One of the major themes of this film is breaking the barrier between police officers and juveniles. Changing how juveniles view police officers is one of the major steps to breaking these barriers. Juveniles often see police and have a negative connection because of previous police encounters they have seen either with their family or with people in their neighborhood. In the film a role-playing exercise was successful in changing attitudes of how juveniles feel about police officers. Having juveniles understand that police officers are normal people is important because it allows them associate them with more than just a uniform.
Another major theme is to change how police officers view juveniles. In the film it shows police officers taking training courses that will better help better educate them on the importance of biasing. Police were able to understand that they often judge people by what they are wearing or how they look. This was an important exercise that helped officers better understand that they are sometimes bias and the ways they can go about changing that.
Many parts of this film relate to what we are studying in class. The...
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... appearance. I found this to be the most powerful part of the video and gave me a better understand how important it is to not judge someone based on his or her appearance. It is defiantly not only relevant in the juvenile system. People in the adult system are also characterized on how they look. I think the exercise they used in the film for juveniles would also be helpful for people dealing with adult cases.
This film is very relevant to the juvenile justice system in Michigan. In Michigan we do have programs such as D.A.R.E. that used in elementary schools. In my community I feel that expanding these programs to middle or high school kids would have more of a benefit. Police presence in my communities public school system was as large as it is in Connecticut. I feel that adding programs like role-playing would be helpful in Michigan and every other state.
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