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 Response Page - Kreager  Interview -      


These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Cheryl Kreager Interview of
05-11-2012.
 

Overview

Cheryl Kreager, director of the Juvenile Justice Coalition of Minnesota discusses the opportunity for expanding the scope of programs for young people who commit crimes to include more effective interventions. Most bad behaviors are symptoms of underlying problems, Kreager asserts, and detention alone does not successfully address those problems. She suggests alternatives to detention and a strategy to develop effective measures through involvement of those in the juvenile justice system.

For the complete interview summary see:  http://bit.ly/M7W6fU

Response Summary:  Readers have been asked to rate, on a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, the following points discussed by Kreager. Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

1. Don't re-punish vulnerable kids.   (9.2 average response) Society’s most vulnerable kids should not automatically be placed in a justice system that punishes them again.

2. Limit job consequences of youthful offenses. (8.6 average response) Too many charges follow youth into adult life. Minnesota has almost 100 professional licenses that can be withheld due to youths' juvenile records, preventing them from getting employment in many professions.

3. Keep non-violent offenders out of court. (7.6 average response) Non-violent offenders should never see a courtroom. Once youth get into the court system, and the further up in that system they go, the more likely they will remain in the justice system and the more likely they will re-offend.

4. Alternatives are better, cheaper. (8.7 average response) Alternative approaches, such as Hennepin and Ramsey Counties' experience in reduced use of secure detention, community-based interventions and reduced use of out-of-home placement, are more effective and cost less.

5. Redesign to improve effectiveness. (8.5 average response) The juvenile justice system should be redesigned because overlapping responsibilities among various agencies have created a barrier to properly serving youth.

6. Slow reform to assure public safely. (4.4 average response) A go-slow approach should be taken in reforming juvenile justice, because protecting public safety is more important.

 

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Don't re-punish vulnerable kids.

0%

0%

4%

32%

64%

25

2. Limit job consequences of youthful offenses.

0%

4%

0%

48%

48%

25

3. Keep non-violent offenders out of court.

0%

8%

12%

48%

32%

25

4. Alternatives are better, cheaper.

0%

0%

4%

48%

48%

25

5. Redesign to improve effectiveness.

0%

0%

12%

48%

40%

25

6. Slow reform to assure public safely.

12%

32%

28%

28%

0%

25

Individual Responses:

Brian Doran  (7.5)  (7.5)  (2.5)  (10)  (10)  (7.5)

Scott Halstead  (7.5)  (2.5)  (10)  (7.5)  (5)  (5)

2. Limit job consequences of youthful offenses. Depending upon the severity of the crime.

4. Alternatives are better, cheaper. We need to provide more parenting education/training for many families that lack the skills to be good parents.  Perhaps this should be in the community education program.

6. Slow reform to assure public safely. They are both of great importance.

Ray Ayotte  (10)  (10)  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)  (2.5)

Brandon Clokey  (10)  (10)  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)  (5)

1. Don't re-punish vulnerable kids. So much of what makes some kids vulnerable are circumstances and environments that are beyond their own control or ability to change. I would tend to look at where parents/guardians may fall into the justice system realm before where the kids do.

6. Slow reform to assure public safely. Any time you place “slow” and “protecting” in the same phrase, It can become dangerous. Certainly taking time to "do reform right" is a critical element in true reform. Research, education, awareness are all key to reforming for the positive. Public safety and protection should always be at the forefront, regardless of the situation. Telling a parent of a young child struck down by a stray bullet that "we are working on it, we are sorry this happened to your family" ...simply will never work. So please be careful in your phrasing.

Rick Rosenfield  (10)  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (10)  (2.5)

2. Limit job consequences of youthful offenses. My granddaughter had a shoplifting at age 18 and she is unable to work in her chosen profession.  She had worked as a job coach and aide and lost her job when almost three years after the crime it finally showed up on a background check.  Human services terminated her ability to work in the care field.

Nathan Johnson  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (5)  (7.5)  (5)

Dave Broden  (10)  (7.5)  (5)  (7.5)  (10)  (5)

1. Don't re-punish vulnerable kids. The system must look at the potential of the kids as well as the environment in which they are living and seek to realize the human potential.

2. Limit job consequences of youthful offenses. This process and criteria must be reviewed and updated but done with purpose and thought.

3. Keep non-violent offenders out of court. Facts seem to support this thesis and thus a uniform system outside the court system should be considered and professionally and uniformly staffed

4. Alternatives are better, cheaper. These alternatives need to be continuously reviewed, monitored and disciplined.

5. Redesign to improve effectiveness. Simplifying a system of justice and attention to youth can only help and improve the situation.

6. Slow reform to assure public safely. “Go slow” is often an excuse for doing nothing. A balanced approach is needed.

W. D. (Bill) Hamm  (10)  (10)  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (2.5)

1. Don't re-punish vulnerable kids. With the war on drugs now taking out 9 times as many people of color,  (mostly Black and Native Americans), attacking their children only further exasperates the problem of Minnesota's "Prison Industrial Complex.”

2. Limit job consequences of youthful offenses. Absolute racial and socio-economic bias being practiced on a grand scale by public employee thugs.

3. Keep non-violent offenders out of court. Unless the goal is to destroy their lives. This has never done anything but create more expensive problems down the road.

4. Alternatives are better, cheaper. While I support alternative solutions I believe citizen oversight is needed to control the self-serving nature of public employees.

5. Redesign to improve effectiveness. The key here is to how it is done and who controls that effort. The legislature is wholly incapable.

6. Slow reform to assure public safely. This kind of reform is about fixing public safety misconceptions being perpetrated by our state’s "Prison Industrial Complex" and its self-serving public employee leadership.

Bruce Ahlgren  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (7.5)

1. Don't re-punish vulnerable kids. As a past probation/parole officer and a retired Court Administrator I have seen hundred of kids in the system, and I truly believe that alternative programs should be available to the courts.

2. Limit job consequences of youthful offenses. I have seen first hand many kids who got in serious trouble as juveniles and young adults become very productive and first rate citizens.  If they were in trouble today with the same offense they would not have been given the license to have the job they had.

3. Keep non-violent offenders out of court. Diversion programs should be in place for these kids and once in the system they often times never get out.  It is like a wheel that keeps spinning.

4. Alternatives are better, cheaper. Yes, I agree completely, and these programs should be available to everyone.

5. Redesign to improve effectiveness. I believe that (one) redesign would be … to have an agency specific to the needs of the child and have fewer agencies involved so there is more specific work with the child with only one or two people working with the person instead of several. This would bring about more consistency.

6. Slow reform to assure public safely. A go-slow approach is good so you get it right.

Maria Pahlen  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (2.5)

Kody Zalewski  (7.5)  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)  (10)  (5)

Jim Lilly  (5)  (10)  (2.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)

1. Don't re-punish vulnerable kids. This hinges on the alternative offered for different offenses.

2. Limit job consequences of youthful offenses. I strongly agreed that blocking felons from future employment is a disaster.

3. Keep non-violent offenders out of court. Unless an alternate system is devised that provides accountability, the current system is all we have.

Nancy Burkhardt  (10)  (10)  (5)  (10)  (5)  (0)

1. Don't re-punish vulnerable kids. I work at an alternative high school for North Side youth.  These students are disengaged from society, see no hope for their future, are angry from compound trauma, have models of violence in their upbringing, settle arguments of all kinds with violence, most available income source is drug dealing, and have lived with generational poverty.  These children need hope, education, jobs, and most importantly and most elusively, hope for a future.

3. Keep non-violent offenders out of court. What is the alternative?

4. Alternatives are better, cheaper. Inner city youth need intense services if they are to develop a belief system that they can live a better life.

5. Redesign to improve effectiveness. I don't know.

6. Slow reform to assure public safely. Public safety is already endangered.  The North Side African American Community is killing itself.  Act now, act large, listen to the community, change hearts, minds, and souls.

Don Anderson  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5)

2. Limit job consequences of youthful offenses. If the youth does show that he or she has changed through rehabilitation they shouldn't be punished from showing their true talents.

6. Slow reform to assure public safely. The system can't be changed overnight without taking a go-slow approach.

Jim Dowson  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (2.5)

Gail Theisen  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (10)  (10)  (2.5)

Eugene Piccolo  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (10)  (10)  (0)

1. Don't re-punish vulnerable kids. We should have a system for most youth offenses (non-violent) that is based on restorative justice principles rather than jailing kids.

6. Slow reform to assure public safely. No matter how fast one tries to change systems there is always inertia that will slow things down - so reform needs to move or it will be slowly killed and kids do not have the luxury of waiting decades for systems to be reformed if it is going to make a difference (in) an individual's life.

Al Quie  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (9)  (0)

Not enough attention was given to parents and caregivers.

Carolyn Ring  (9)  (9)  (5)  (8)  (10)  (8)

Causes of bad behavior are, of course, key to the problem.  Causes should be vetted as much as possible before the most appropriate penalties are assessed.

Alan Miller  (9)  (9)  (9)  (8)  (9)  (4)

Chuck Lutz  (10)  (9)  (10)  (10)  (9)  (1)

Wayne Jennings  (10)  (10)  (8)  (8)  (10)  (9)

Tom Spitznagle  (8)  (7)  (7)  (7)  (9)  (7)

Chester Nettestad  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (5)  (5)

Paul and Ruth Hauge  (8)  (7)  (7)  (9)  (8)  (5)

 

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political persuasions, reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

   Verne C. Johnson, chair;  David Broden, Charles Clay,  Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  Marina Lyon,
Joe Mansky,  John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  and  Wayne Popham 


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The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
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Verne C. Johnson, chair, 952-835-4549,       Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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