Source: (2001) The Prison Journal. 81(2): 187-205.

In November 1995 the state of Pennsylvania, through legislation called Special Session Act 33, redefined the purpose of its juvenile justice system. The aim was to incorporate the principles of the Balanced Approach and Restorative Justice (BARJ) philosophy into the juvenile justice system. In this article, Ronald Seyko recounts the genesis of this legislation, explains the principles of BARJ, and explores the application of BARJ in the juvenile justice system of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. This latter part of his article covers the county’s juvenile court, the county’s actions in response to Act 33, and specific BARJ initiatives in the county’s juvenile justice system (e.g., victim-offender mediation, victim/community awareness curriculum, restitution, community service, school-based probation, and more).