Keeping youth out of jail a top priority for new program

September 30, 2021

Keeping youth out of jail a top priority for new program

A collaborative program combining the talents of a wide array of health experts aims to eliminate youth incarceration by 2025 in King County, followed by the entire state of Washington by 2030.

Dr. Benjamin Danielson, a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, will direct the program Allies in Healthier Systems for Health & Abundance in Youth (AHSHAY), which is being formed by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

“We need to care beyond our reach, beyond our direct contact points," says Danielson. "We need to act as if we are in contact with people that we might never meet, or see, or get to know. And when we do that right, we are building beloved communities. We are doing what we say we care about doing.”

Danielson says name of the program is significant to its mission, as it invokes positivity and unity.

“The word às̩e̩ (pronounced Ah-Shay), in a lot of African American and African culture is a phrase: it sort of means ‘let it be so,’ or sort of 'amen,' or sort of ‘this should be.’ And I think that's a statement of reaffirmation that is really important. When you hear something really cool, you say 'às̩e̩.'”

Learn more about the program in our news release.

Susan Gregg, UW Medicine

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