Reaching for rehabilitation, not retribution
On a recent Thursday evening, three Warren Central High School students stood trial for battery, theft and consumption of alcohol as a minor. Each of their offenses had occurred on school grounds, and the youths could have been suspended or expelled for their misdeeds. Worse yet, school officials could have called police and the students would have been criminally charged in the juvenile justice system.
Instead, the students agreed to admit their guilt and participate in In-School Teen Court, which is part of a broader juvenile justice diversion program run by Reach for Youth, Inc., a local nonprofit that gives first-time offenders an alternative to punitive discipline at school or in juvenile court.