juvenile justice reform

Keeping kids in the community improves public safety

Originally published at City & State Pennsylvania

Reforming the juvenile justice system is personal for Philadelphia native Jon Kelly.  

“I cycled through several youth detention centers,” he said. “Those places often made kids more bitter and hardened at heart, including me.” While Jon went on to commit crimes as an adult, he had a turnaround – and credits employers and local churches for his recovery, not an institution. Jon believes the community-based mentoring and accountability he experienced are key to helping today’s youth avoid adult crime. 

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system relies on out-of-home placements in institutions rather than community-based programs. This undercuts the stability of families and communities by removing kids from homes. 

Read more at City & State Pennsylvania