Beyond Bars: Keeping Young People Out of Prisons

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 1:00 pm - Thu, 23 Mar 2017 2:00 pm
Central Time (CT)

Register Online

  • Free for Alliance members and nonmembers

Webinar Description

This informative webinar will offer insights into a blueprint for systems and communities to establish guiding principles, core services and an organizing tool to shift from a facility-based juvenile justice system to a community-based youth justice system.

Beyond Bars, a report fromthe National Collaboration for Youth, advocates for communities and systems to close youth prisons by developing a vast array of services and supports that can hold youth accountable in the community while also meeting their needs and building on strengths.

Some of guiding principles include focusing on need and not slots; building on restoring a sense of relatedness by building on strengths, competency and autonomy; asset mapping communities that are often characterized only by their deficits, and; implementing culturally competent programs.

Come and learn that while every community is different, we should be reminded as leaders in the sector to focus on core services that comprise the bedrock young people in need.

Access the full report.

This webinar is sponsored in by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities' Change In Mind initiative and Alliance Peer Exchange Group on advancing equity.

Who Should Attend

  • Executives
  • Program directors
  • Directors of community outreach programs

Level of Learning & Objectives

  • Learn key strategies to create community support for young people
  • Learn alternative services that directly decrease the number of youth entering prison


Shaena Fazal is the National Policy Director for Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP).  Shaena leads YAP's national advocacy and policy efforts, focusing on the deinstitutionalization of youth, redirecting government resources from institutions to building community capacity and providing the most marginalized families with the support they need. 

Since obtaining her law degree in 2000, Shaena has advocated for the most disadvantaged among us and to changing public policy. Immediately after law school she worked for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky on urban housing and immigrant services issues. For the next 5 years she was a public defender at the Office of the State Appellate Defender, First District, (Cook County) where she represented over 80 clients convicted of felonies on appeal of their convictions.  

In late 2005, Shaena was awarded a two-year Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowship to continue her prisoner rights' work, advocating for humane conditions for long-term prisoners in Illinois. With the fellowship, she founded and directed the Long-Term Prisoner Policy Project at the John Howard Association of Illinois. In this position, she worked to enhance public commitment to rehabilitation, and focused on changing policies to end the warehousing of long-term prisoners. She devoted much of her time to abolishing life without parole sentences for juveniles and to educating and informing legislators in Springfield about sentencing and corrections policies for juveniles and adults. She also founded the "C# Representation Project" where she recruited and trained pro bono attorneys to represent the less than 300 remaining parole eligible prisoners at parole hearings.

In January 2009, Illinois' Governor Quinn appointed her to the Adult Advisory Board of the Illinois Department of Corrections which provides guidance to the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections. She is a founding member of the Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children and former Board Member, General Counsel and staff to the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Direct questions to Ann Koerner, associate at the Alliance, at 414-359-6562. 

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