When young people break the law and are then processed into the justice system, a sentence is only the very beginning of the correctional journey for juvenile offenders. Those who help these kids have a three-part goal that applies to every 10-17 year old who is in detention or treatment: 1) hold youth accountable for their actions, 2) promote the safety and restorization of victims and communities, 3) equip young offenders and their families with the skills to help prevent future crime.
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining producer Sarah Gonzales in the studio are two guests who are each uniquely well-acquainted with Alaska's juvenile justice system.
- Rob Wood is the Deputy Director of Operations for the Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice. He has worked with delinquent youth for over 34 years, initially in the State of Oregon, then in Alaska since 1980. During this period he was a youth counselor in a corrections facility, a clinical therapist for 10 years, a juvenile probation officer and a supervisor for 20 years.
- Brian Petrilla is a former juvenile delinquent turned juvenile probation officer who robbed an Anchorage credit union when he was 17 years old. Adjudicated and institutionalized at McLaughlin Youth Center in 1993, he returned to McLaughlin as a PO 14 years later to help kids.
JUVENILE JUSTICE RESOURCES:
- Transitioning Back Into the Community: One of the highest risk times for young offenders can be when they are finished with their treatment, their sentences are coming to an end and they are going back to the community. Contributor Jessica Cochran looks at how Alaska's juvenile facilities are helping kids make a smooth transition back into the real world.
- Alaska's Youth Court System: Youth courts are where young offenders face their peers in a real courtroom situation. They exist across the nation and have been a part of the Alaska juvenile justice system for more than a decade. Host Shana Sheehy visited North Star Youth Court in Fairbanks.
Watch a video from the Sitka Youth Court: