On September 7, 2017, the Youth Justice sector of BRIDGES USA met with 9 incarcerated youth apart of the third cohort out of Jail East where they had their second session of training for Incarcerated Youth Speaking Out for Change.
The session was intended to dive further into the exploration of the youth’s life story and begin the process of reflection in a way that taps into the insight and knowledge already manifested within them; and how these insights relate to recommendations for systemic change.
Following check-ins, an energizer to get everyone’s mind and body active, and an overview of the agenda for the day, the facilitators and the youth went over the IYSOC Contract which the youth had to sign.
Within the contract, the youth pledged to be accountable for oneself and to be sincere, respectful and honest in their intentions and communications towards the other participants and facilitators.
After this, the facilitators got the name of the youth’s lawyers and discussed questions they would have for them (for example, what is my current position in justice systems process). In partnership with Project Mass Incarceration of University of Memphis Law School, they agreed to answer some of the questions that the youth may have.
During the first session, the youth were given composition notebooks where they were to reflect over their life story. Only one person was finished with their life story and shared it with everyone. The group then discussed and analyzed his life story for potential change models they would recommend.
The ending reflection of this session was to be each youth finishing their life story by the next week’s meeting.