By Kent Berkley
Except in extraordinary cases, delinquent offenders from Door County get treated in the community rather than being shipped off to the much-maligned Lincoln Hills correctional facility. Door County takes a multidisciplinary approach with juvenile offenders. Treatment teams rely on resources from the police, courts, community-based providers, private business representatives, and informal family and community supports to help young people build on their strengths and overcome their challenges. Mark Hill, Juvenile Justice Social Worker with the Door County Department of Human Services, says he tries to help young people find prosocial ways to provide restitution to the community while also building positive connections with peers and caring adults.
Mark says it is important to build trusting relationships with young offenders in order to understand their stories. He says by understanding the adverse childhood experiences and traumas to which an offender has been exposed, he is better able to help implement evidence-based approaches that increase the chances of the young person becoming an appreciated and valued member of the community.