iChange Justice

Civic Intervention

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Episode Description
In today’s 50th episode of iChange Justice Podcast, Joy Gilfilen, President of the Restorative Community Coalition and podcast Host,
interviews our Media Manager, Ava Sakowski, and former outreach counseling professional.
To share Ava’s reflections as a social service worker from 1970-1995 regarding the last three years of emergency crisis conditions affecting our families.
Ava recalls how being a recipient of social services made her the person she grew into as an adult.
In the 70s publicly provided services were made available for high-risk teenagers to prevent drug abuse when they needed it most.
The discussion centers on how these services that were available to the community (and police officers) mattered.
She notes how these support systems have all but disappeared over the course of the last 25 years. Ava experienced how change within the system (structures, money, and resources) dried up for treatments; these resources were pumped heavily into the punishment and incarceration systems. The change in the system forced her and her husband to find another way to make a living.
She concludes that it is necessary to rebuild the infrastructure of non-profits that offer foot-on-the-street services to people in trauma from homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, or other traumatic issues.
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