Shifting Perceptions Through Challenge
The mission of this program is to change the perceptions between youth and police in our city. Our vision is that this will lead to sustainable change that addresses the challenges our communities face while providing opportunities for youth and police to build meaningful relationships.
Since 2008, Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School has been building a foundation to impact the relationships between police and youth in the city. This commitment was matched by a 2012-2015 study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to prove the program’s effectiveness. The Johns Hopkins team, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, discovered undeniable truths about the shift in perceptions. Positive attitudes were strengthened and negative attitudes (such as youth believing officers were racist) dropped dramatically after the one day program. The study also evaluated the program’s effect on classroom behaviors for students, and specific life skill development.
The Program in 2016
After the unrest in April 2015, Outward Bound worked closely with the Baltimore Police Department to expand the program’s reach to serve all active duty officers, school resource officers, police trainees and Command staff. Thanks to a generous donation, the program was scaled up and coordinated with Baltimore City Public Schools as well as community partners thread and Coaching Corps.
Since the start of 2016, the PYC has been running each and every Thursday with approximately 24-30 youth and officers who participate in a series of challenges within small groups. Each crew has one officer for every one youth and is instructed by Outward Bound instructors, each of whom receive specially designed training as part of the Police Youth Challenge Curriculum.
The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention funded this project under subaward number BJAG-2009-9000 (your subaward number). All points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position of any State or Federal agency.
This project was funded by Rosedale Federal Savings & Loan Association, proud to be “Your neighbor. Your guide. Your bank.”