For the first episode of its sixth season, HBO’s news-documentary series VICE explores the links between juvenile justice and mass incarceration in this country, and what Lucas County Juvenile Court is doing to change it.
Raised in the System premieres at 7:30 p.m. Friday on HBO, and Denise Navarre Cubbon, a Lucas Country Juvenile Court judge who is featured in the episode, along with area teens and their families, said she cannot wait for others to see it.
Toledo is featured in about 15 minutes of the 50-minute show, she said, with the show’s cameras and crew in town for a week at the beginning of the year to capture juvenile court hearings and more personal moments in interviews outside the courthouse.
“They’ve done a lot of research,” Cubbon said. “It wasn’t just that they kind of glossed over us.”
The show includes several stops across the country for host Michael Kenneth Williams. Toledo is of interest because Lucas County Juvenile Court is employing, as the show’s news release says, “the latest in child psychology and data to help juvenile offenders correct their behavior within the community instead of sending them to warehouse style kids prisons.”
This includes sending higher risk youth to the Lucas County Youth Assessment Center for better access to therapists and other services.
“There is a lot of acknowledgement” in the show “about how we through the years have developed a juvenile justice system that, although well intentioned, was not meeting the needs of these kids,” Cubbon said.
And if more courts across the country can engage these at-risk “kids and their families ... using the right service at the right time and based on the child’s needs, the changes in their quality of life is going to be remarkable, for the kids and their families.”
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