Te Wharenui (the carved meeting house) of Manurewa marae.

New Zealand Sees Success With Culture-specific Youth Courts, Family Group Conferences

Experts estimate that only 15 to 20 percent of youth offenders end up in court in New Zealand. For the remainder of the cases, which are often petty, opportunistic crime, police have the flexibility to make decisions based on the context and details of the case, with a focus both on diverting young people from entering the court system and involving their families and communities in the rehabilitative process.

John Tuell is the executive director of the RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice.

Juvenile Justice Reformers Driven by Memories of Mistakes in Their Less-informed Past

Adolphus Graves, the chief probation officer of Fulton County Juvenile Court in Atlanta, was driven to transform his juvenile justice system by the mistakes he made as a young probation officer.
“I was a little wayward and misguided as a probation officer,” he said. “Knowing my times as a probation officer, and how many things I did horribly, or how many children that I irresponsibly, or sometimes just ignorantly, subjected to detention because I had no other tools. ... The recurring theme consistently has been the lack of knowledge, of understanding what’s going on, the depth of what’s going on in a child’s life.”

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Probation Camp Alternatives Work Better for Teens

Locking young people up is bad public policy even at more reasonable rates given that detention has consistently been shown to be ineffective at reducing delinquency.

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Troubled Teens Blossom in Strength-based Program With Caring Adults

Lead4Life, Inc.’s purpose is to create a culture of love and support. We are addressing the school-to-prison pipeline in a very nontraditional manner but one that is extremely effective and provides a meaningful experience for most participants.