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Innovation Brief: Media Relations: Transforming a Crisis into an Opportunity for Reform

Published Nov 30, 2012, Marie Yeager, Roda Creative Services.

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The Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, “kids-for-cash” tragedy provided many opportunities for education regarding juvenile justice in the United States. The publicity, shaped by thoughtful media relations, generated a groundswell of interest and outrage, made juvenile justice a topic of national discussion, and greatly accelerated reform efforts in Pennsylvania.Ultimately, the state’s Supreme Court adopted important juvenile court rules changes, and the Governor signed several new pieces of legislation protecting the rights and well-being of youths. But the path from crisis to reform didn’t happen automatically. It was crafted through media-relations expertise, careful planning, and constant attention.

This brief is one in a series describing new knowledge and innovations emerging from Models for Change, a multi-state juvenile justice initiative. Models for Change is accelerating movement toward a more effective, fair, and developmentally sound juvenile justice system by creating replicable models that protect community safety, use resources wisely, and improve outcomes for youths. The briefs are intended to inform professionals in juvenile justice and related fields, and to contribute to a new national wave of juvenile justice reform.

Reform areas: Juvenile indigent defense

States: Pennsylvania

Categories: Innovation/knowledge briefs

Tags: innovation brief, media relations, MFC

Uploaded Nov 29, 2012

Supported by

Models for Change is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.