Back to RJ Archive

Applying Therapeutic Principles to a Family-Focused Juvenile Justice Model.

Gilbert, Janet
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) Alabama Law Review, vol. 52, p. 1153.

After more than a century, juvenile courts are still struggling to balance the public’s expectation of accountability and enhance public safety with the historical focus on rehabilitation. . . . The objectives are performance-based and the actions required by each party (e.g., each family member, family intervention specialist, etc.) are specified. . . . “A frequent goal of treatment is to decrease the youth’s involvement with delinquent and drug using peers and to increase his or her association with prosocial peers…” In the Family Focused Justice System model, the youth’s parents, with the guidance of the family intervention specialist, optimally conduct interventions for this purpose. . . . These programs target children who may not have had any previous or serious contact with law enforcement or the justice system (or have been the recipient of a formally filed petition of delinquency), but other indicators present in their family situation, such as the incarceration of other siblings and/or parents, for example, suggest a need for intervention and treatment. . . . However, the concentration on the family as a rehabilitative resource, coupled with expanded judicial involvement in therapeutic efforts, is a departure from most juvenile delinquency systems.


Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now