prosecutor: Statue of Lady Justice

Prosecutors Champion Legitimate, Meaningful Justice Reforms

As a career prosecutor I have spent the better part of 45 years working in all areas of the criminal justice system. I started as a juvenile court prosecutor at a time when our juvenile justice system was not nearly as adversarial as it is now but rather seemed more interested, as such cases are legally styled, in the best interest of the child.

community service: Young people cleaning beach area.

How I Changed How Young People Saw Community Service

While serving as a juvenile diversion officer, I had the opportunity to see how we use community service in the juvenile justice system. When I stepped into this juvenile justice role, the county attorney instructed me of some basic requirements he wanted included in the diversion contract.

probation: Teen boy playing basketball outdoors

JDAI Shifts Focus to Overhauling Probation, Increasing Diversion

When the Annie E. Casey Foundation launched the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) in the tough-on-crime era of the early 1990s, politicians were labeling teenage offenders “superpredators” and states were passing laws making it easier to prosecute kids as adults. Rates of juvenile detention were skyrocketing.

diversion: Boy with backpack facing empty road.

Youth in Foster Care Deserve Greater Chance to Enter Diversion Programs

Over the past two decades, I have had the extraordinary experience of working with youth involved in the juvenile justice system and the child welfare system. I am thrilled to bear witness as Los Angeles County finally moves toward using diversion programs to keep kids out of juvenile justice and in school and at home where they belong.

diversion: Melancholy teens sit against wall.

Virginia Suburb Shows That Diversion, Victim-centered Agreements Work

Over the last several years, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (JDRDC) of Fairfax County, Va., has been working on transformative efforts around juvenile justice in an effort to keep low-risk youth from entering the system and address disparities for youth of color. One large area targeted by these efforts was the diversion programming and Juvenile Intake Office.

New York: Man with beard, mustache in blue shirt talks to woman.

With Plunging Crime Rate, New York Experts Dreaming Big

When the moderator informally polled the audience at a criminal justice discussion held at the New York Law School on whether probation and parole should be abolished, almost half the audience — mostly criminal justice practitioners and stakeholders — raised their hands.