Victor Sims, case manager supervisor at SailFuture, 2020 Casey Excellence for Children Awardee, and an American Bar Association Reunification Hero
No one has told [youth in the Department of Juvenile Justice] they’re good people. They have already been counted out.
This story is adapted from a blog post Q&A with Victor, which includes more of our original interview than we could fit in the post. Click here to read the original post.
“There are kids we call crossover youth, when they’re in the Department of Juvenile Justice as well as in the department of children and families, receiving services from both. No one has told them they’re good people. They have already been counted out. What, they’ve stolen a car? All of a sudden, they have no chance, and they have no hope of being a human again. All they are now is a criminal in everybody’s eyes. With a lot of my teenagers, I’m like, ‘This is what we’re going to do going forward. Instead of stealing a car, how about we get you a job so you can just buy a car? I’ll teach you how to drive my own car.’ And then, ‘Mr. Vic, you’re going to trust me with your keys?’ ‘Well, yeah. We’re going to be in the car together, and I don’t think you’re going to steal my car, because you’re a good person.’ ‘Oh, you must not know.’ No, I know. You’re a good person.”