MSNBC Profiles IN County Teen Justice System


Lake County Juvenile Justice, a six-part series airing Saturday nights on MSNBC (10 p.m. EDT), takes viewers inside a juvenile center in Northern Indiana, says a review by Marc Allan in Indianapolis’ alternative newspaper NUVO. Producer Karen Grau finds people like Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura doing the best they can against what appear to be hopeless odds. The judge handles a staggering 3,200 cases a year. She’s sympathetic — “Sometimes it’s just survival,” she says of the kids she sees. “They get out there and have to perpetrate before they’re perpetrated against.”

The revew say judges like Bonaventura dispense reasoned, reasonable justice intended to get deserving kids the help they need so they don’t end up in adult prison. Allan says “Grau takes us inside a world that’s typically closed to the media and, therefore, to most of us, which makes it endlessly fascinating. But it’s her fly-on-the-wall storytelling style that makes Lake County Juvenile Justice worth watching. She doesn’t hype the stories, doesn’t set out to create a world of villains and heroes. She simply lets us see how the world of juvenile justice works.”

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