Why I Joined my State Advisory Group
On a Tuesday night in September, I sat in a conference room at a juvenile detention facility here in Boston. I was scared a little overwhelmed, but not because I was being adjudicated.
Instead, I was at a table with city officials and heads of state agencies—people who could casually talk about meetings with the Governor. I was there because I want to be a member of the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Committee, our State Advisory Group (SAG) that oversees our juvenile justice system. I had contacted several people, sent lots of emails and made phone calls in order to get a seat at this table.
Under the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), each state must have a SAG to guide and monitor juvenile justice programs and ensure compliance with the core standards of the JJDPA. At least 20 percent of SAG members must be young people—and I’m aiming to be one of them.
Lashon Amado is a graduate of YouthBuild Brockton and a member of the National Council of Young Leaders.