Creativity needed to help toubled youth

Published 11:48 pm Monday, November 10, 2003

By Staff
There should never be a limit to the number of ways a tough societal problem like serious juvenile delinquency is attacked. The consequences of holding to old-line thinking and "tried and true" methodologies are too great for decision-makers to get stuck in a rut when it comes to combating such issues.
What are the consequences of getting lazy in the fight against kids taking the wrong path? First and foremost is the human cost all of us should feel when a young life is practically "wasted" before it even gets started.
In more plain and simple terms, there's the fact that young criminals grow up to become old criminals, who may plague and burden their communities for decades.
That's why the initiative shown by the Escambia County Youth Court in expanding and enhancing how it deals with kids in the system deserves such applause. By using counseling and therapy to take the fight directly to the front lines -- the kids' homes and families -- the court is obviously working hard to make a real difference, rather than just warehousing crops of troubled teens.
Tough problems aren't solved by straight-line thinkers who follow formulas to the letter and hope for the best. They're solved by those who show creativity in their approach, as has been done in this instance.

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