Pfeil Innovation Center partners with Juvenile Justice Center

By: Briana Petty Last Updated: February 5, 2015

The Pfeil Innovation Center has recently worked with the Juvenile Justice Center to facilitate the flow of new ideas in regards to handling juvenile detainees. The mission of the Pfeil Innovation Center is to help transform community organizations and their employees by building a “culture of innovation and competency”.

In order to do this, the Pfeil Innovation Center facilitates two-day Innovation Leadership Immersion experiences. The recent Juvenile Justice Center partnership was an immersion that had up to ten different organizations concerning juvenile detention including law enforcement, juvenile probation and detention, schools, mental health providers and more. This was the first time all of these organizations had met at one time and one place to discuss how to most efficiently organize their resources.

Peter Morgan, Director of the South Bend Juvenile Justice Center, says the partnership with Pfeil has been energizing for the organizations involved.

“People don’t readily put the justice system and innovation together in the same sentence. For good reason, court systems rely upon tradition, stability and predictability as part of what gives them legitimacy,” he explains. “The partnership with Pfeil has helped us to realize that innovation doesn’t mean disparaging the way you’ve always done things, but it has certainly helped give us the freedom and incentive to evaluate the ways we’ve always done things.”

Jewel Abraham-Copenhaven has been with the Pfeil Innovation Center since its creation in 2011. Jewel recently facilitated the sessions involving the Juvenile Justice Center and was inspired by the progress made at the immersions. Using an 11-module system, the organizations worked through exercises and discussions to make the juvenile detainee process more efficient.

“Our goal was to get 50 people to see the same thing,” she says. “And all 50 people left here agreeing and excited about the next steps because they were all on the same page with the detainee process.”

To Morgan, the immersion was incredibly helpful in re-focusing employees and connecting these various organizations to better serve the families of their community.

“Our staff have consistently reported that getting out of the building and getting a chance to consider anew what we do and why we do it has helped them reconnect with their values and the reason they got into this difficult work,” says Morgan. “It’s a very enjoyable two days, and the outcomes have been productive.”

The Pfeil Innovation Center has reached over 100 people in the month of January alone and hopes to eventually reach up to 5,000 community and organizational leaders. It’s clear that the organization is already having a profound impact in local communities and Jewel is constantly invigorated by her work at the center.

“We do see these organizations making changes and empowering their employers. They are moving into the future because they got those seeds planted at the Pfeil center,” says Abraham-Copenhaven. “It’s exciting to wake up every day and know you are making a difference.”