need to develop better strategies for identifying and responding to
adolescent domestic violence.
While family and community disorganization, discord, and violence
can contribute to youths’ criminal behavior, there is also growing
evidence that families and communities can play a constructive role
in youths’ successful rehabilitation. Evidence for this conclusion is
probed in an article that advocates for the use of family and
community “social capital” as a means of promoting positive
outcomes for youth in the justice system.12 The authors’ somewhat
vague definition of social capital is that it is the “by-product of social
interactions that are embedded in, and accessed via, formal and
informal social relationships with individuals, communities, and
institutions.”13 In other words, youth benefit when the positive
elements of individual and community relationships are linked—or
bonded—to form a network of support, trust, and expectations that
serves as a metaphorical protective cloak around a young offender.
The authors conclude with a suggestion that service providers should
make a special effort to understand all dimensions of a youth’s social
capital at each stage of the juvenile justice process in order to
maximize his or her successful exit from the system.
The book’s final section contains a series of articles on program-specific and system-wide initiatives to reform the current juvenile
justice system. Given recent attention focused on the uniquely
American problem of mass incarceration, a particularly useful article
in this section reviews past and present efforts to improve the quality
of care, education, and programming for detained and incarcerated
12 Robert L. Hawkins, Maryna Vashchenko, and Courtney Davis, Making a Place
for Youth: Social Capital, Resilience, and Communities, JUV. JUST.: ADVANCING
RES., POL’Y AND PRAC., 245-66 (Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs eds.,
13 Id. at 248.