No matter how they are involved in the court system, the arts provide an effective way to engage court-involved young people. Research has demonstrated that arts programs can have significant impact on promoting positive youth development, which is essential to addressing adolescent behavior and the risk and protective factors associated with behavioral problems and delinquency.
Unlocking the Light (UTL) is an innovative, statewide arts professional development program for teachers working in Massachusetts Department of Youth Services residential facilities. Through residencies by visual and performing artists, educators learn to use the arts to teach core academic subjects. Integrating the arts into the curriculum helps to promote positive development and improved achievement by engaging and motivating youth to invest in themselves and their education. UTL was developed with support from a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
What teachers are saying
Residents (students) who rarely read or participated in class started trying harder to better understand the concepts and historical meaning of what they were working on.--Brian Barret (DYS Teacher)
I realized that all students are able to communicate in someway through poetry – even the stubborn ones. The students really opened up and trusted themselves.--Katie Zarling (DYS Teacher)
Derek Fenner, Project Director 413.320.2434
Abstract: Unlocking the Light-Integrating the Arts in Juvenile Justice Education (1-pg PDF)
Issue Brief: Unlocking the Light | Integrating the Arts in Juvenile Justice Education (12-pg PDF)
Massachusetts Cultural Council Model Programs: Creative Transitions Report and Summary
2012 Exhibition: The Arts & Juvenile JusticeJanuary 16, 2012 to March 30, 2012 Open Monday-Friday, 8:00am to 6:00pmJohn Joseph Moakley United States CourthouseOne Courthouse Way, Boston, MA 012210Harborpark Entrance, Lower Gallerywww.moakleycourthouse.com
Artwork in this exhibition was created by youth involved with the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS), the Commonwealth's juvenile dustice agency. The show includes artwork created by young people in DYS residential programs, as well as by youth participating in programming through arts organizations in their home communities. The exhibition was curated and organized by the DYS Arts InFusion Task Force, a statewide initiative to create access to and opportunities for youth involved with DYS. This Task Force is a unique partnership of juvenile justice, arts, and educators, led by the Department of Youth Services, the Collaborative for Educational Services, Commonwealth Corporation, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Collaborative for Educational Services 97 Hawley St. Northampton, MA 01060 | (413) 586-4900 | email@example.com