Inside Juvenile Justice: May 2011

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Review by Sarah Brown Hammond

“Raised by the Courts,” by Florida Circuit Court Judge Irene Sullivan, provides a passionate and in-depth look into the world of juvenile justice.

The book takes the reader on an emotional, eye-opening, behind-the-scenes journey through the system, with heart-wrenching stories of broken families and children, failing systems and unjust facilities. Yet the book also provides hope through promising new programs and reforms.

The author conveys the message that children within the juvenile justice system should “not be treated like short adults,” but, instead, like the children they are. Her insight on how to improve the juvenile court system in America is grounded in her own experiences as a judge, and strikes a chord with the reader on many levels.

Sullivan’s vast knowledge and experience with young people is apparent as she suggests way to improve policies that affect young people and the juvenile court system. She makes specific recommendations based on cost-effective and successful programs.

“Raised by the Courts” is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in juvenile justice, especially those who love and support children involved in the juvenile justice system.

Sarah Brown Hammond tracks juvenile justice issues for NCSL.