Theft, vandalism, violence and other crimes plague communities across the United States today. Low-income neighborhoods, communities of color, rural towns and other areas around the nation are disproportionately affected by these realities. The young people who are needed to restore, replenish, reinvigorate and reimagine these places are sometimes the perpetrators. Without educational, social, cultural and empowering activities in their lives, they are driven to crime for entertainment, money, opportunity and a sense of progress in life. Once they’re in the juvenile justice system, these same youth experience oblique outcomes, hurtful punishments, and life-defining stereotyping that is punitive, predictable and prejudice.
In the last several years, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed with this. Through a series of rulings, courts across the country have been compelled to foster more nuanced approach to juvenile justice.
In 2001, I began consulting youth-serving organizations, including K-12 schools, nonprofits and government agencies, specifically on youth engagement. In 2018, I’m expanding my scope to include the field of juvenile justice, especially in regard to the work already underway.
In the next few days, I’m posting a series of blogs that are an exploration of what I’ve found so far in the “new” juvenile justice, which I call transformative youth engagement.
- New Juvenile Justice through Transformative Youth Engagement
- Transformative Youth Engagement, Not Reform
- The Roots of Transformation; Moving Into Action
- Barriers to Transformative Youth Engagement
- What It All Comes Down To
- Resources for Transformative Youth Engagement in Juvenile Justice.