2018 Champion City

Philadelphia, PA : 2018 Winner

Child-Centered Solutions for Philadelphia’s Youth Offenders

  • 1,567,872

  • James F. Kenney

  • Directly Elected Mayor

    Type of Government
  • 4 years

    Length of Term
  • Youth

    Issue Area

The Problem

Arrested youth—2,774 last year—are held in district holding cells designed for adults, and police are not equipped to mitigate the resulting trauma or provide appropriate social services.

The Idea

The City of Philadelphia will work to make the justice system less traumatic for young people under 18 by creating new facilities specifically designed to address trauma and connect kids with resources rather than sending them to regular police stations.

What Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia, PA is saying:

The Hub for Juvenile Justice Services could be a transformative development for Philadelphia and could serve as a national model for how children are treated in the justice system. This award will jumpstart the Hub and potentially change the course of many young lives.


Our Prototyping Journey

    Let's Go

  • How we are testing our idea

    This is an entirely new way of thinking about how to solve a problem. This will be incredibly useful for Philadelphia, even beyond this project.

    City Hall Staff

    Philadelphia will build a physical mock-up of the space where youths would be processed through the justice system and conduct walk-throughs with justice officials, youths and families.

    ✔️ Test 1: Yesterday, the @BloombergCities #MayorsChallenge team walked police officers and social workers through the Juvenile Justice Hub service journey to collect feedback about the process.

    4:36 PM - 20 Apr 2018   govlabphl  
  • Ideas into action

  • What we're discovering through testing

    The Philadelphia team built a physical mock-up of the Hub in a school gymnasium where they role-played different interactions youth would encounter in the space. The test invited parents and young people who have experienced the justice system to respond to the proposed service. The test highlighted concerns from young people around safety and also helped the team think about what data and metrics they want to collect, e.g. tracking whether people will be accessing services after they leave.

    The @PhiladelphiaGov Bloomberg #MayorsChallenge team just wrapped up their second test! Check out some of the highlights from their Juvenile Justice Hub prototype walk-through with youth, parents, and social workers.

    2:35 PM - 8 Jun 2018   govlabphl  

    The idea behind the Juvenile Justice Hub is to create a safer, family friendly space where people feel comfortable to reach out for support. When the team mocked up a family room where parents could meet their social worker, they included toys to keep smaller children busy, whilst their parents discussed the family situation. However, parents fed-back that they didn’t want their toddler’s in the room hearing what their sibling had done wrong. The team are now exploring other possibilities.

    Young people are so excited to have a voice, particularly when it’s something that directly affects them.

    Rhonda McKitten, Stoneleigh Fellow, Philadelphia Police Department
  • Reflections

  • What we've learned

    The Philadelphia team initially focused on arrested youth, but during testing many parents expressed needs around housing, work and food insecurity. As a result, the team are integrating a walk-in feature into their Hub model, where residents can get information and services - making service referrals available even to families who have not experienced arrest.

    A hub is a great solution, but if we can divert them even before they show up at the door, that would be a huge win for these kids.

    Public Defender's office