Think Justice Blog

It Takes a Village

Young people who skip school or run away from home pose little or no threat to public safety. Yet many communities have found that youth are often arrested and incarcerated because of these behaviors. Too often, young people are sent through the justice system for acting out, when community- and family-based responses would be more compassionate and effective. Diverting youth away from the justice system and toward supportive interventions are key to keeping them and their communities safe. Through the It Takes a Village blog series, Vera will expand upon the It Takes a Village: Diversion Resources for Police and Families report, further exploring how diversion benefits police, schools, families, and young people themselves.

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  • Erin  Dostal Kuller
    Erin Dostal Kuller
September 15, 2016

Series: It Takes a Village

Collaboration is key when it comes to keeping kids out of the justice system

The title of our latest report on diversion strategies—“It Takes a Village”—is no accident. School administrators and teachers, law enforcement officials, service providers, and families all play key roles in keeping young people out of the juvenile justice sy...

  • Erin  Dostal Kuller
    Erin Dostal Kuller
September 07, 2016

Series: It Takes a Village

Closing the schoolhouse door to the juvenile justice system

Schools can be a critical diversion point for young people at risk of entering the juvenile justice system, as detailed in Vera’s recent report on diversion strategies for youth. Exclusionary school disciplinary practices, such as suspensions or expulsions, ma...

  • Erin  Dostal Kuller
    Erin Dostal Kuller
September 01, 2016

Series: It Takes a Village

Getting the word out about diversion programs

Diversion strategies that prioritize community- and family-based solutions over punitive measures can help young people avoid becoming involved in the justice system. Vera’s recent report detailed the important work of many organizations—from Nevada to Nebrask...

  • Erin  Dostal Kuller
    Erin Dostal Kuller
July 21, 2016

Series: It Takes a Village

How police benefit from diversion strategies

Vera’s recent report, It Takes a Village: Diversion Resources for Police and Families, details how diversion programs provide families and communities resources to keep young people safe, on track, and out of the criminal justice system. But young people aren’...

  • Erin  Dostal Kuller
    Erin Dostal Kuller
June 30, 2016

Series: It Takes a Village

It takes a village

15-year-old J.B. is involved in a minor scuffle at a park. Instead of arresting him, police call a local crisis response program to address the behavior. J.B. receives counseling and is enrolled in an action plan to improve his grades, joins an ROTC program, a...