ACA Awarded Law-Related Education Grant

Article excerpt

In October, ACA, the New York State Division for Youth and the Juvenile Justice Trainers Association (JJTA) were awarded a gram titled "Law-Related Education in Juvenile Justice Settings" from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Through the grant, the recipients will help interested agencies set up Law-Related Education (LRE) programs in their states.

LRE teaches juveniles how the legal and political systems function and how these systems apply to them. It addresses issues such as how the law affects juveniles and how they can affect it, what relevance the Constitution has in their lives, and why certain legal procedures have been established and how well they work in resolving disputes.

LRE programs are interactive and experiential. They teach through hands-on techniques such as case studies, role playing and mock trials. In many programs, the juveniles learn about the system firsthand by meeting with lawyers, judges, police and service agency representatives.

By examining concepts such as justice, authority and responsibility, juveniles become aware of the reasons for rules and authority as well as the responsibility of individuals to help maintain social order. Juveniles learn that laws are written for them and that they have a personal stake in maintaining those laws. They are taught to accept and appreciate their duties as citizens of their communities.

The overall goal of the grant is to address the needs of LRE programs in the juvenile justice system and to expand substantially the variety and number of such programs in the United States. ACA, the New York State Division for Youth and JJTA will achieve these goal through two initiatives.

The first initiative, to be conducted by ACA and JJTA, will be to provide technical assistance and training to juvenile justice agencies and their LRE coordinators. …