Juvenile-in-Justice Curricular Aide Prompts

The what and the why…

These writing prompts are meant to be supplemental to existing course materials at any high school, college, and university level. This visual/audio curriculum enhancement is applicable to criminology, sociology, political science, ethnic studies, colleges of law, and many more fields of study for students to understand that lives are at stake within admirable but often insurmountable amounts of data and research. 

These stories were developed from thousands of interviews all across the nation to contextualize the circumstances and holistically approach individual cases. This evolving syllabus enhancement is to build narratives and humanize incarcerated children and adults. 

Students becoming lawyers, social workers, judges, or probation officers can begin to familiarize themselves with the lives they will be serving.

The Who…

Education is a vital force for youth criminal justice reform and it is pertinent to rethink the lens we see these lives through. Having a trauma informed courtroom is the first step to reorienting ourselves in addressing child incarceration and lifetime sentences. 

The individuals in these narratives have seen violent acts, experienced housing & food insecurity, and are from broken homes and communities. Each story is a particular set of indictments, placements, and experiences that are seen as statistics in the frame of academia. These first person narratives provide insight beyond data to build human empathy. 

These stories go beyond criminology and enter the realms of disproportionately incarcerated black and brown men, neglect of children in dependency systems, inaccessibility to resources and many other institutional problems that educators like yourself are teaching across all education systems.


The How and The When…


As students walk in for lecture, within the usual 10 minutes it takes to have everyone settled in, you can show one of these visual prompts and ask the students to do a writing response exercise. Students are usually on their phones at this time and distracted… Don’t fight them… Join them!

The prompt can be the same for each story or based off of your curriculum, but we suggest starting with: What do you see in this image? What do you hear? What do you feel?

Storytelling can be a point of departure for any syllabus. Here we are giving you ten modules that individually deal with a different aspect of incarceration and dependency. If you have a different module or topic in mind to supplement your syllabus, send us an email and we will find the stories you need.