The Fenway Institute Recognizes MA DYS for Work with LGBTQI Youth

The Fenway Institute and the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights have recognized the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) for their work to ensure that all state and provider employees create an environment that is safe and welcoming for all youth.

In a Fenway Institute brief on best practices for managing LGBTQI youth in juvenile justice settings published in October 2018, DYS was identified as a national leader in policies and practices to support LGBT, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) youth in their custody. DYS staff worked closely with GLAD and the Massachusetts LGBTQ Youth Commission to craft and implement the policies..

According to DYS, the agency is “committed to developing a policy to prohibit discrimination against and harassment of LGBTQI youth, one that would contribute to an agency wide-culture change that would ultimately benefit all youth in DYS care.”

While we would like to see fewer youth enter the juvenile system and more treatment and services instead of incarceration, DYS has developed policies that reduce victimization, something experienced disproportionately by LGBTQI youth. Please join us in commending DYS for their great work in creating safe and affirming spaces for LGBTQI youth.

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