Giving Teens a Voice

NYS - Policy Recom

Policy Recommendations
from the 2002 National Youth Summit on Preventing Violence


The following selected policy recommendations were developed by the 2002 McGruff Ambassadors utilizing a consensus model and collaborative group-decision technology donated by Teen Think Tanks of America, Inc.  These recommendations address policy designed to prevent crime, violence, and substance abuse among youth. 

1.        Elected officials in federal, state, and local agencies will develop training initiatives to support positive interaction between law enforcement and youth.

2.       Federal, state, and local agencies will develop and provide resources to implement school security and safety programs that are established around a network of trust developed among youth, policy makers, law enforcement officials, business professionals, faith-based communities, and other adults.

3.       Federal, state, and local agencies will fund youth programs and extracurricular activities that create a positive environment for youth to grow and develop, enabling them to evolve into well adjusted law abiding citizens.

4.       The federal government will create stronger restrictions for producers and distributors of entertainment containing explicit lyrics, violent ideas, and derogatory language. This prevents impressionable minds from having their judgment obscured by these unpleasant depictions of life.

5.       Federal, state, and local agencies will provide resources to develop new and support existing community action programs that encourage youth and adult collaborations.

6.       Federal, state, and local government will develop public awareness programs that encourage community activism at the grass roots level.  These programs will promote activism as a way of life.

7.       To prevent identity crime on the Internet, federal, state, and local governments will establish strict policies to eliminate the opportunities for people to create an alternate persona. These policies will be congruent in each of the states.

8.       Federal, state, and local government will establish appropriate regulations such as parental controls
      and website ratings that govern Internet providers.

9.       Federal and state agencies will provide Public Service Announcements and media programs that are direct and informative to youth and result in increased awareness of the dangers of abusing illegal substances.

10.    Local agencies will reward and recognize youth for peer-to-peer education on the dangers of substance 

11.     Congress will expand the scope of the National Youth Service Day to provide more opportunities to recognize youth who are sending positive messages throughout their schools, communities, and states. This day will shift the perception of youth as perpetrators of crime to the reality that youth are a positive force for crime prevention.

12.    All schools in the United States of America and its Territories will teach media literacy at all grade levels.  This will enable youth to understand and deconstruct media messages.  

13.    Federal, state, and local agencies in association with local schools will create opportunities to educate youth in the processes of developing public policy and laws by creating service programs that allow youth to work on political campaigns, participate in government meetings, and serve on boards as decision makers or process observers.

14.    Federal, state, and local legislative offices will implement the use of designated staff members to serve as youth-to-adult liaisons working directly with the youth constituency under their jurisdiction. Liaisons will work directly with youth and organized teen policy advisory boards to provide recommendations and input for youth-related public policies.

15.    Legislatures in each state will provide contact information specific to their state, county, and/or city jurisdictions that will serve as resources in schools and libraries for youth.

16.     Federal, state, and local legislators will establish mentor programs in their individual jurisdictions to
      develop relationships between professional policy makers and students.