Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: A Balancing Act
Balancing Accountability with Responsibility
The concept of balanced and restorative justice defines much of
Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Act, which highlights such factors as
supervision, care, rehabilitation, protection of the community, and
responsible and productive membership in communities.
Balanced and restorative justice adheres to the following principles:
- The citizens of Pennsylvania have a right to safe and secure communities.
- A juvenile who commits a crime has an obligation to the victim and the community.
- Juvenile offenders should leave the justice system as more responsible and productive
- Each case in the juvenile justice system is an individual person who
requires an individualized
assessment of relevant information.
Redeeming youth means building competency. This has been defined through
a white paper commissioned by PCCD’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention Committee to define and provide guidance as to how system
professionals would develop competencies in delinquent youth. Competency
development is defined as the process by which juvenile offenders
acquire the knowledge and skills they need to become productive,
connected, and law-abiding mem-bers of their communities. These fall
into five basic domains or skill areas: Pro-Social Skills, Moral
Reasoning Skills, Academic Skills, Workforce Skills, and Independent