Judge Leith, John Dell, Victor Chavez discussed on 70 Million
So most of the time you're juvenile justice criminal justice all reactionary so as a court as a probation system. You sit back rely on everybody else to do the programming and you just hope and then you just get what you get right for years now. Psychologists psychiatrists and sociologists have been studying the impacts of incarceration on young people's development. And they've found that time behind bars can produce long lasting negative change. He realized we're locking kids up. The probably shouldn't be locked up because my view is if you have that sixteen year old. The didn't really do anything. And maybe was the one kind of getting harassed by mom's boyfriend ray and the solution was to arrest that kid and bring him to detention. There is no kind of detention so if they actually bookham. Then that kid's gonna be strip searched that kid's gonna be put into a jump striped jumpsuit. He's going to be put into the flip flops. And if you wanna talk about psychological damage to a kid that's how you do it if you wanna send the message to the kid that the system doesn't care about you and you're just a number that's how you do it. So here's what judge leith and proposed a drop in teen center that would be funded through the county court system at almost a third of the cost of the juvenile facility. Their new approach would be proactive engagement bringing in local youth with community projects and leisure activities. The loft would partner with the local high school coaches as well as the police and sheriff's departments to identify teenagers in need of mentorship or after school activities. If police arrested a local kid who committed a serious felony such as first or second degree murder or armed robbery the county would need to send them to a regional juvenile facility a good for hours away but more often than not police might end up bringing a kid to the loft without charges. It's a reversal of the old toughen. Juvenile crime philosophy leftover from decades past in the eighties american cities faced growing rates of both adult and juvenile violence between one thousand nine hundred eighty nine hundred ninety four youth arrests for fences like murder forcible rape robbery and aggravated assault rose by sixty four percent. This is what's commonly referred to now as the super predator era. The super predator is a young juvenile criminal who is so impulsive so remorseless but he can kill rape maim without a giving it a second thought. The prediction was ter. That's princeton university. Political science professor john dell'olio featured in a retro report new york times documentary. He coined the term in the nineties predicting that the number of juveniles in us custody would increase exponentially into the next two decades pundits and politicians on both sides of the aisle picked up the term and it was used to justify tough on crime legislation later. Deluca would go onto publicly regret his super predator predictions which were heavily weighted toward a young black and brown men in the so-called inner city by the year. Two thousand there were more than one hundred thousand young people in custody in the us. That's around the time. When victor chavez began working for the correction system in arizona. I was working as a supervisor in detention center in holbrook for navajo county. The job was difficult but the thing he loved the most was helping newly released offenders as they got out of prison. I mean a lot of its positive when you get those success stories and people that are successful on probation and go on to have successful Lives after that. That's great but there's so much negative ask about it and then when you have to like revoke him in the end up having to go to prison and stuff like that you see. The effects on has on the family. Sometimes that gets to you you know and it does to me. It's especially as i get older. It's just. I just have more empathy for people in their families. Victor had a family of his own and he was eager for something different in two thousand seventeen. He heard from his former coworker. Paul hancock news like victor. We're gonna do something. Hopefully it's going to be really awesome. And i'd like you come be a part of it. Paul told victor how the apache county juvenile detention center located about an hour from where he worked in navajo. County was closing down how the new judge had a different idea for how to use the space one that was inspired by more prevention and mentorship. Then he's took the place and the vision and everything else. And i got to meet the judge lead them and then i was like oh man the i totally want to be a part of this place. I've always been a fan like a mentorship programs and things like that positive things for for juveniles and kids to to try to maybe deflect the trajectory. they're on now in life and maybe more positive direction. Now if a kid was acting out arresting them was in the only option. Police could take them to the loft where they might end up in one of its so-called respite. Rooms judge late them himself showed me one of them. Kid comes in and arrest. But they'll bring him front door just like any respite is like he really needs to. Someone needs to mediate. Respite is what i consider. They just need a safe place to stay or you know we've had times where the officers on patrol at two. Am and they've got a kid sleeping at the park and it's because mom dad kicked him out. Well you know we give them the option like well. It's not safe for you to stay here. You know it's two a m so they can call us and we can say yeah. Bring him but so this used to be a single bed cell but now you can see so when it comes in here. The the vibe and the view they're going to have is not like on under wrestling. This is nicer than my kid's room. You know the to respite. Rooms are all gel cells. Eight by ten feet. But they've been transformed to have windows. Nice bats with comforters and pictures on the white painted walls. A kid will stay in a respite room. Overnight during which. Victor richie or another mentor will chat with them and connect them with social services. If needed the last time. A kid came with a police referral. Two months before i visited. He ended up being taken to the regional juvenile facility and pinal county on most days though. The loft fills up with only kids who come to socialize do homework play games or escape. Whatever challenges to may face at home this kind of approach is spreading a state authorities are also making changes so we know there's a small percentage of the population that you know does harm does 'cause Continued delinquency will run away but it's a small percentage. It's not the majority. This is joseph kilroy director of the juvenile justice services division at the arizona supreme court what arizona did is they created up a detention hearing the next day so of if it was on a friday. They had saturday detention hearings. So that you know. Kids didn't sit excessively in a detention center and we know that with trauma of brain development. Those types of things we we can do more harm by placing a kid even for a night. In a detention center the state also standardized detention screening tool a rubric that would holistically determine whether a juvenile should even be put in detention. To begin with you know if.