This documentary looks at the state of juvenile justice in the country, with a special focus on how to stem the tide of teenage homicide offenders.
In the ten years between 1984 and 1994, the number of juvenile homicide offenders in America tripled. While crime rates in America have begun to drop, teen-on-teen violence, especially in poor, urban neighborhoods, is still out of control. Year after year, more teenage boys are killed by guns than all natural causes combined.Against the backdrop of these bleak statistics, a number of communities across the country are taking a fresh approach to "bad" kids. Realizing that locking kids up is expensive and does little to reduce violence, these pioneers are addressing the roots of violence with innovative programs involving schools, rehabilitation programs, and unique multi-agency partnerships. They are, in effect, Reclaiming America's Kids. In Search of Law and Order: Reclaiming America's Kids, a special three-part series airing over consecutive Fridays, April 10, 17, and 24, at 9 PM (ET),on PBS (check local listings), travels to three communities working to keep troubled youth from becoming lifetime wards of the justice system: Boston, Massachusetts; Fort Worth, Texas; and Richmond, California. Six years in the making, this unique series also meets kids who carry guns out of fear of their "enemies," and asks, "Are they victims as well as offenders?"