Holder To Counties: Shift Juvenile Justice To Prevention, Intervention

Shifting U.S. juvenile justice “from a prosecution-and-punishment model to a prevention-and-intervention paradigm: will produce more positive outcomes for young people and will save money, contends Attorney General Eric Holder. Speaking this week to the National Association of Counties in Washington, D.C., Holder said his department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention will “address these issues boldly, creatively, and collaboratively.”

Holder cited several ongoing programs, including the most comprehensive federal effort ever to address childhood exposure to violence. President Obama is seeking $25 million for the program in his budget proposal for next year. Holder cited promising local efforts, including Miami-Dade County’s Civil Citations program. Instead of arresting kids who commit minor misdemeanors and exposing them to the juvenile justice system, police refer them to targeted interventions aimed at reducing delinquent behavior, Holder said. Recidivism has been reduced to 3 percent for youth who participate in this program, and juvenile arrests have dropped by 30 percent, he said.

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