Using Media Advocacy to Promote Detention Reform

A Practice Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform #4

By The Justice Policy Institute, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

January 1, 2009

Summary

Bad press can sink any good cause. The key is to manage bad publicity while promoting media coverage that will bolster public support and create political momentum. Written specifically for juvenile justice advocates and officials, this nuts and bolts handbook provides insider tips for media advocacy, or ways to engage the press to promote reforms achieved through Casey’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI). Public opinion is on your side; all you need to do is describe the juvenile jail reforms in a way that is clear, heartfelt and taps into the values that Americans share. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Research shows that the press disproportionately covers youth associated with violence.

Media advocacy can showcase how changing the system can improve and protect public safety, reduce costs and give young people a second chance. Research on media coverage of youth and crime shows that the press disproportionately covers youth associated with violence.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations