Judge Steven Teske On the Two Faces of Juvenile Justice

During my 12 years on the bench, a few of my law enforcement friends have asked me why I take — in their perspective — a “soft” approach with kids coming before me. “Judge, you don’t see them on the streets when we deal with them,” they say.  “You see them in court with a smile and looking good.”

The question of my apparent naive approach to kids is valid — from their perspective of course. For example, I recall this one kid four years ago. He was 15 years old and his name was Kenny. He personified the kids my friends described — angry, disrespectful, and defiant.