On any given year in the US there are over 740,000 teens referred to the juvenile justice system, some of whom will be confined to a corrections facility, others who will be diverted into a community-based alternative, and many who will be court sanctioned to probation. The sad fact is that, for our young people who are actively incarcerated, a detention center may be the only place they feel safe, have reliable meals, are sober, or are not facing constant trauma. For our justice involved young people who continue to stay in their communities, many continue to face adverse experiences such as relational trauma, racial trauma, community violence, and lack of access to basic needs. It is during these moments of crisis that our justice involved young people are most open to uncovering God’s story of hope in their lives.
Juvenile Justice Ministry exists to create a faith-based continuity of care model geared toward fostering holistic connection and secure relationship with young people during any point of contact with the juvenile justice system. Our strategy is to come alongside young people in what it means to journey with Jesus; balancing the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of life. We build relationships that are sustained through ongoing involvement as young people navigate the different pillars encompassing the juvenile justice system: Community, Courts, and Corrections.