Innovation Brief: Partnering with Schools to Reduce Juvenile Justice Referrals
Published Nov 30, 2012, Jason Szanyi, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
In Peoria, Illinois, a large number of African-American youth were entering detention for aggravated battery in one public high school. After learning more about the problem, local juvenile justice and school officials, with support from the Models for Change initiative, launched a pilot project to address fights and other incidents on campus using principles of Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ). Once implemented, the low-cost interventions resulted in a 35 percent reduction in school-based referrals to detention for all youth, and a 43 percent reduction for African-American youth. This pilot project served as a springboard for broader implementation of BARJ programming as an alternative to formal processing in schools and in the community.