We Want to Know What They Are Saying

A Multiagency Collaborative Effort to Address Parental Language Barriers and Disproportionate Minority Contact

Posted November 1, 2009
By The Vera Institute of Justice
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AECF We Want To Know 2009


Parental engagement in the juvenile justice system can have a significant impact on a child's involvement in the system, but parents with limited English skills often lack the resources needed to understand their rights and responsibilities.This report highlights a multiagency collaborative effort in New York City to help develop multilingual materials to help parents with limited English proficiency access the information they need to be active participants in the juvenile justice process, regardless of language. 

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

When Parents Do Not Understand, Youth Are More Likely To Be Deeply Involved In The Juvenile Justice System

Parents with low English proficiency are less likely to understand the law, how to interact with law enforcement and their rights and responsibilities when it comes to the juvenile justice system. As a result, their children are more likely to be arrested, detained or incarcerated. Making key information accessible to these parents is crucial to ensuring they are engaged participants and active advocates for their children throughout the juvenile justice process.