Focusing on the Front End of the Juvenile Justice System to Give Juveniles "First Chance"
Date:  10-11-2016

Some veteran juvenile court prosecutors are at the forefront of reform
From Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

Given all the public attention surrounding reforming the criminal justice system, it is puzzling that the juvenile justice system has been largely ignored in these conversations. For all the legislation targeting “second chances” and “reentry” initiatives, little attention seems to be on what we are doing on the front end.

How are we responding at the “first chance”? For those coming into contact with the justice system, it is the juvenile justice system that is often the first point of contact and a place of incredible opportunity. If we focused more on what we were doing on the front end, we could be having a dramatic effect across the entire justice continuum.

While the headlines may not be covering what is going on in the juvenile justice system, there are many devoted professionals working tirelessly behind the scenes and they know the significant strides that have been made. The overall juvenile justice population has decreased by over 1 million youth, and we have seen the emergence of policies and practices that are supported by data and research. Because of this decline in caseloads, those working on the front lines have a greater opportunity to work on prevention and early intervention efforts. And while it may be surprising to some, prosecutors in juvenile court have led many of these efforts. Read more