The Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice System strives to involve families in all aspects of the juvenile justice process. In a continuing effort to achieve a balanced and restorative response to crime, the enclosed publication, “A Family Guide to Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice System”, was developed by the Family Involvement Committee of the Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers and supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The importance of the role of families is clearly embedded in the foundational principles of Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system. Families’ goals for their children echo both the goals set forth in the Juvenile Act as well as in the numerous publications distributed here to fore. Families want their children to live in safe communities, to be held accountable to repair the harm due to their conduct, and to grow and develop into competent individuals.
It is anticipated that this guide gain broad distribution in your community and to the parents of youth coming to the attention of your Juvenile Court. The guide is intended to assist families with a better understanding of the Juvenile justice System and to enable them to be better prepared to work closely with juvenile justice staff during the justice process.
Here are some other suggestions for using this guide:
- Provide the publication to all families you are serving and offer to answer any questions they may pose
- Display them in your waiting room
- Ensure Community and School Based Probation Officers have them available to distribute in their respective schools
- Share with your local police officers
It is our hope that this publication will provide a first and positive step in communicating with the families of those youth who come before you. If you would like additional copies of this publication, please contact Monica Iskric at the Center for Juvenile Justice Training and Research by telephone at (717) 477 1709 or by email at MSIskr@ship.edu.
Mark Benedetto and Wendy Luckenbill
Family Involvement Committee Co-Chairs