Boston University School of Public Health
Jeffrey Sanchez, Former Rappaport Urban Scholar and Rappaport Institute Advisory Board Member
Massachusetts Department of Youth Services
Lisa Belmarsh, Director of Policy and Training
Description of Fellowship
Gray’s project supported the Department of Youth Services to facilitate positive change in LGBTQ+ youth in DYS custody and care. Nationally, LGBTQ+ youth involved in the juvenile justice system face unique challenges. Gray conducted 18 interviews with DYS youth, staff, and administrators and analyzed five years of DYS data. They made recommendations on how DYS can improve data collection and analysis around sex, sexuality, and gender. They also created a new measure to capture a sense of how well DYS- involved youth are doing. Currently, youth success is understood through recidivism rate, and DYS hopes to paint a picture of youth success and well-being that is based on a less punitive model. The new measure will serve as a tool for DYS to compare experience across demographic groups and identify disparities to focus on closing moving forward.