School House Adjustment Program Enterprise (S.H.A.P.E.) aims to reduce the number of Memphis-Shelby County Schools students sent to Juvenile Court for minor infractions. The program is soley funded by MSCS Office of Student Services. The purpose of the program is to decrease the number of minority students sent to Juvenile Court for committing minor infractions. Similar programs have shown success in Chicago and New Jersey.
How did this program get started in Memphis?
The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth (TCCY) is charged with implementing the OJJDP requirements and looking at the overall societal issues that contribute to the disparate number of youth who encounter the juvenile justice system in Tennessee. Here in Memphis, a collaborative effort by Shelby County Mayor’s Office, Juvenile Court, Public Defenders Office, City of Memphis Mayor’s Office, Memphis Police Department and Shelby County Disproportionate Minority Contact Task Force was instrumental in Memphis-Shelby County Schools receiving grant funding to launch this pilot program in Shelby County Schools.
What does the School House Adjustment Program Enterprise do?
The SHAPE curriculum is aggression replacement training which consist of social skills, anger-control and moral reasoning. Students stay in the program for 6 weeks. This program is an alternative method that Memphis-Shelby County Schools is using to work with juvenile offenders who have committed minor offenses. The intent of the School House Adjustment Enterprise Program is to provide immediate consequences, such as community services or restitution and a prompt and convenient resolution for the victim. At the same time, it benefits the juvenile by avoiding the stigma of a juvenile record. In many instances, this early intervention will deter the youth from continuing negative behavior and divert the youth from progressing into the juvenile justice system.