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Balanced and Restorative Justice

The Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice System is a dynamic and ever-changing institution dedicated to serving the Commonwealth’s juvenile offenders, victims, communities, and families.   Two key events in recent years have helped to conceptualize and define the purpose and duties of the Commonwealth’s juvenile justice system.  First, in 1995, Act 33 was passed in which the goals of Balanced and Restorative Justice were established.  These goals include community protection, accountability, and competency development.  Second, in 2011, the Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy was...

System Enhancement Strategy

In 2005, Pennsylvania became the first of four states chosen to participate in the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change (MfC) juvenile justice system reform initiative.  Although the Foundation had provided grants in the field of juvenile justice since 1996, the focus had been primarily in the areas of adolescent development, juvenile justice research, and the advancement of related laws, policies, and practices.   The new focus of the MfC initiative was to assist selected states in becoming national models of juvenile justice reform.  Pennsylvania was chosen because of its reputation as a...