Oscar was 16 when he and a friend robbed a man at gunpoint.
In Georgia, armed robbery with a firearm goes straight to adult court. It also means a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison unless transferred by the prosecutor to juvenile court. Continue Reading →
A child can’t be responsive to a teacher’s instruction with a head full of anxiety, stress, fear and pain. Yet many still label them “bad seeds” and respond with punishments. They treat the symptom, but never the cause.
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It has been stated that "There is no other way society will achieve large-scale progress against urgent and complex problems unless a collective impact approach becomes the accepted way of doing business." Continue Reading →
Any large scale social problem cannot be solved solely by government action. On the contrary, government solutions are no solutions. Continue Reading →
Living in poverty is devastating for children in many ways, especially the impact of poverty on their education. Continue Reading →
Not all prisons are built with brick, mortar and razor wire. "Prison" is defined by the circumstances, with one leading to another like a maze of twists and turns, not knowing what is lurking around the next corner. Continue Reading →
The process of reforming systems is replete with metaphorical paradoxes, and juvenile justice as a system is not exempt. It generally begins with those who are "blind as a bat" and can't get to the "city on the hill" — a reduction in delinquency. They are blind not because they can't see the city, but because they're at the "fork in the road" and can't figure out which fork to take to get to the city. Everyone desires less crime, but not everyone agrees on how to make that happen. The greatest obstacle for those of us versed in the vast literature of what works in community corrections remains the still popular view that "getting tough," whether by use of detention or commitment to secure and residential facilities, is the “cure all” to reduce delinquency. Continue Reading →
Imagine you’re a parent of a 15-year-old girl. You held her in your arms, taught her to walk, kissed her “boo-boos,” read her fairy tales. Then suddenly, without warning, she becomes defiant. Continue Reading →
Some things in life can't be explained. Whether it's the Bermuda Triangle, the origin of the "Big Bang" or the construction of Stonehenge, we come up with theories but the truth escapes us. Continue Reading →
A veteran school police officer once told me, “If the only tool is a cop, than every problem becomes a crime.” Continue Reading →