YFC Podcast Addresses ‘A Lack of Awareness and Misconceptions Around the Juvenile Justice System’
October 4, 2021
DENVER— There is a crisis in America that is often not discussed, but vital to the betterment of future generations. Recent reports state that in 2019, an estimated 2.6 million youth under the age of 18 were arrested in the United States. These numbers, while slightly on the decline over the past 40 years, are still staggering. While many organizations and ministries seem to overlook this group of youth, Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net) is first on the ground to build relationships and come alongside justice-involved youth in meeting holistic and spiritual needs.
One way YFC is bringing awareness to youth in Juvenile Justice Agencies is through “Stories from the Inside,” a podcast dedicated to exposing the truths behind the Juvenile Justice System and sharing the stories of youth, agency workers, court systems, chaplains, and many others. Co-hosts Chelsie Coleman and CJ Fisher not only bring awareness to the Juvenile Justice System but find the place where “Juvenile Justice and Faith Meet.”
Jacob Bland, president and CEO of YFC, stated, “There is a lack of awareness and misconceptions around the Juvenile Justice System. Young people in the Juvenile Justice System often feel overlooked, and it’s our passion to make them feel seen, heard, and valued. Juvenile Justice Ministry leaders aim to be a steady voice and presence in their lives, intentionally postured as humble and authentic mentors.
“Many of the teenagers we meet face adverse situations such as relational trauma, racial trauma, community violence, and lack of access to basic needs. It is during these moments of crisis that our leaders invest in reciprocal trusted friendships with our young people, who are facing pivotal life challenges. We ultimately build relationships with young people to introduce them to Christ and uncover God’s story of Hope in their lives.”
Coleman and Fisher discuss the issues facing justice involved youth today, such as homelessness, human trafficking, racial and ethnic disparities, and other important concerns young people are struggling with. Coleman stated, “We want to elevate the voices of our youth that are being impacted by incarceration. I think about girls and boys that I’ve met over the years and I think there’s a stigma around them. You meet them and walk into a Juvenile Detention Center, and you realize they are just kids.”
Fisher also commented, “I think a lot of people aren’t aware of what goes on in the Juvenile Justice System and don’t know why so many youth get incarcerated. We talk about the history that has been in their lives, the brokenness, the trauma, and how that ultimately is the factor of why they are in the system and why they keep coming back into the system.”
To listen to the podcast or to find more information, click here.
YFC haschapters impacting thousands of communities across the nation that seek out and serve youth from all walks of life. Many teens are silently struggling through a wide variety of challenging issues—and through the ministry God empowers through YFC, they see the living power of a loving God. YFC trains its leaders in a proven, relational ministry model called 3Story®, which encourages staff and volunteers to be good news while also sharing the stories of the Good News of Jesus. It involves building relationships through the ups and downs of everyday life in order to lead people to Christ.
YFC has been a pillar of missional ministry since 1944, when the Rev. Billy Graham served as YFC’s first full-time staff member. Since then, Youth For Christ has continued to be both a rural and urban ministry on mission, and it is always about the message of Jesus. YFC reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ, and commitment to social involvement. Youth For Christ operates in over 100 nations and has 137 chapters that impact communities across America.
To interview a Youth For Christ representative, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.