Young Adult Justice: A New Frontier Worth Exploring

In a policy paper published exclusively by The Chronicle of Social Change, juvenile and criminal justice consultant Tracy Velázquez argues that it is time for U.S. systems of justice to explore the notion of creating a third court process for young adults, one that balances the need for accountability with the reality that jeopardizing the future of young lawbreakers is the best way to produce career criminals and intergenerational poverty. This young adult system would rely less on incarceration, more on treatment and skill-building, and would shield offenders from a lifetime of collateral consequences in the education and job marketplace.