While we need to hold teens accountable for their actions, simply locking them up isn’t effective. Young people in the juvenile justice system need more treatment, better treatment, and support beyond treatment.
I encourage you to watch this brief interview with Wansley Walters, secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. In the video, Secretary Walters shares her views on the importance of early assessments and prescriptive measures in juvenile justice reform. We need to continue this investment to stay on track and reduce crime. "As the resources pull away, the problem starts to creep back in," Walters says.
Juvenile Justice Reform
Teens turn corner with jury of their peers (News Star) The teen court program in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, in operation since 1986, allows juveniles who have been found guilty of nonviolent misdemeanors to go in front of a group of their peers for a second chance.
Revised court rules protect juveniles (Post-Gazette) Revamped juvenile court procedures in Pennsylvania will prevent schools from taking additional disciplinary measures when a child gets in legal trouble outside of school.
Criminal justice podcast with David Onek (Berkeley Law) Probation Officer Scott MacDonald discusses reducing racial disparities in the juvenile justice system, partnering with the community, using data to drive decision-making, sustaining reforms through leadership transitions, and more.
Five questions for Wansley Walters, head of Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice (FlaglerLive.com) In Miami-Dade, Walters spear-headed the use of civil citations and other diversion programs with generally applauded results. From 1998 to 2008, juvenile arrests dropped by 51 percent there, juvenile detention by 66 percent and re-arrests by 80 percent. It’s estimated that Miami-Dade saved more than $20 million as a result.