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Family Involvement in Pennsylvania's Juvenile Justice System

NCJ Number
Date Published
28 pages
This report presents an overview of the work of family involvement programs in Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system.
The primary purpose of this report is to identify and develop strategies and models aimed at supporting family involvement in Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system in ways that are effective and measurable and that are grounded in balanced and restorative justice practices. The report stresses the need for the system-wide adoption of effective evidence-based strategies and services that can support the role of families at the level of the individual child as well as at the policy and planning levels. As a result of interviews with focus groups, several common themes were developed which are important to the successful implementation of balanced and restorative justice practices. These themes are discussed in detail in the remainder of this report and include having availability and access to effective early prevention and intervention services; communicating the idea that respect should be the basis for all interactions between families and the juvenile justice system; having juvenile justice system leaders and practitioners ensure that opportunities exist for proactive and effective family involvement at all levels of a youth's involvement with the system; and ensuring that statewide policies and oversight exist to eliminate barriers across agencies and departments which prevent or lessen proactive and effective family involvement.