Youth Juvenile Justice Ministry

Building Relationships with Incarcerated Youth

October 18, 2021

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 YFC Reaches Youth in Juvenile Detention Centers to Try to Stop the Patterns of Incarceration

Recent studies indicate that almost 60,000 youth under the age of 18 are incarcerated in America in over 1,000 different juvenile detention centers.

Denver Area (DAYFC) is determined to come alongside youth in local detention centers by working together with churches, adult volunteers and likeminded partners. DAYFC coordinates church services, Bible studies, and special programs for incarcerated and previously incarcerated youth, as well as equips mentors and volunteers to bring the life-transforming message of Jesus Christ.

YFC’s Juvenile Justice Ministry seeks to engage young people as they are met in a variety of youth-serving institutions such as detention centers, correctional facilities, group homes, residential treatment centers and emergency shelters.

The Denver area, has witnessed a dramatic increase in young men and women who have been sent to these juvenile detention centers, especially since the start of the pandemic.  DAYFC  remains focused on supporting  youth transitioning out of the detention center and back into the community.

Director of DAYFC Juvenile Justice Ministries, Ean Cowan commented, “For some of these young people, they have been taken out of terrible situations, such as abusive homes or human trafficking, and sent to detention centers since they have nowhere else to go. We like to come alongside the youth in these centers and show them that we’re not there to take anything from them—we’re there to give them the hope of the Gospel.”

Building relationships with incarcerated youth doesn’t end once they leave the center. YFC aims to continue relationships on the outside. Coming alongside youth, no matter what it takes, no matter what stage of life they are in.

DAYFC builds relationship through a partnership with Freestyle Magazine. Freestyle Magazine provides an opportunity for incarcerated youth to present their artwork, poetry, music, or other talents. By distributing the magazine, within detention centers as well as to the outside world, both gives individuals the opportunity to showcase their skills and talents, but also serves as a reminder that they are valued outside of their life in the detention center.

“Freestyle Magazine reconnects incarcerated youth back to society, by encouraging them to think of life beyond the prison, while breaking the stigma of juvenile detention centers for the community.” -Ean Cowan

Learn more about DAYFC