• New Resource - Juvenile Justice Exploratory Paper
  • Musical Connections artists Falu and Soumya Chatterjee rehearse with a participant before a final concert for family, residents, and staff of Crossroads Juvenile Center.
  • A newly released exploratory paper sets out to answer the question: What is the potential of music in the lives of court-involved youth? Written by WolfBrown, in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, the paper is a major investigation of the potential of music to make contributions to the lives of young people in juvenile justice settings, building on the current work of many of the institutions committed to these young people.

    Carnegie Hall’s commitment to this area stems from the Musical Connections Program, which offers diverse live music experiences for people in healthcare settings, correctional facilities, senior-service organizations, and homeless shelters across New York City. This season marks the fourth year of creative workshops for teenagers in detention settings, as well as new projects in non-secure placement and probation settings. This work is examined in the paper as an example of the possibilities and challenges of programs in juvenile justice settings.

    This publication, "May the Songs I Have Written Speak for Me," contains these sections:

    • • A history of juvenile justice in the United States with an emphasis on the long-standing tension between incarceration and rehabilitation
    • • An overview of the current movement for reform
    • • A summary of basic research on adolescent development, with an emphasis on the new brain science that explains why adolescents are prone to risk-taking, thrill-seeking, and emotionally-driven choices, coupled with a discussion of the potential of music to reach and affect adolescents
    • • A review of research and evaluations from an international set of music programs in both adult and juvenile corrections facilities, with an emphasis on what such programs accomplish and the specific effects they have
    • • A reflection on the design principles emerging from effective programs
    • • An examination of the current work in juvenile justice supported by Carnegie Hall and the Administration for Children’s Services in New York, with an emphasis on the issues and choices that are arising as this work enters a second, deeper, and more challenging phase.

    The purpose of this review is to invite readers and stakeholders—including organizations, musicians, staff, and advocates–to think about these questions:

    • • What exactly can music (or, more broadly, the arts) contribute to the reform of juvenile justice systems?
    • • What constitutes making that contribution responsibly and well?
    • • How do we build evidence that music (or the arts more broadly) make a difference in the lives of youth, staff, families, or facilities?

    Download the PDF:
    May The Songs I Have Written Speak For Me:
    An Exploration Of The Potential Of Music In Juvenile Justice

    by WolfBrown Associates  

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