Thursday, August 14, 2008

Juvenile Justice: Treatment or Jail

At his blog Invisible Children, Mike Tikkanen, has written:

At the William Mitchell Law School today, I learned that Minnesota has been a genuine leader in Juvenile Justice in America for one hundred years.

The vast majority of people working with abused and neglected children quickly see the need for healing the mental and emotional scars left on children that have been terribly abused by their parents.

Most thinking people also perceive the benefits to the larger society of making children well and allowing them to become productive members of society (instead of leaving them dysfunctional and to go on to have more dysfunctional progeny).

Healing children through the efforts of the courts is making some people stretch their brain to accommodate something other than an adversarial approach to a Justice System.

Today at the William Mitchell Law Schools Conference on "Innovations: Ideas in Juvenile Law" I observed the incongruity of bright committed people arguing opposite ends of the spectrum.This would be just an interesting curiosity if it did not so glaringly exemplify the difference between healing emotionally and mentally disturbed children and imprisoning kids whose entire lives have been a punishment.

I call it our abandonment of twice-abused children. Once by their parents, and once by our Justice System.

Read it all here.

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