My wish for the new year is that we involved in the juvenile justice system continue to work to ensure that:
- every child has an attorney assisting in his or her case from the very first appearance in court for a just, fair process to exist,
- rehabilitative services currently available in urban centers spread to every rural county to end geographic disparity,
- mentally ill children are diverted from the delinquency system when their acts are a result of being undiagnosed, unmedicated, or untreated, and
- children less than twelve years old never face delinquency allegations with the possibility of shackling and secure detention and the potential long-term, negative consequences.
May we all have the strength and fortitude to do our part to drive change.
Happy New Year!