Engaging the Justice System

Hebrews 13:3 Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.

Listen to the audio from this session.

Dr. Scott Larson is the author of 13 books about working with high-risk youth and leadership training. He's considered one of the foremost authorities in prison ministry. A trusted colleague who works at Central Ohio Youth For Christ's juvenile justice ministry described Dr. Larson as "the apostle of prison ministry" and "the foremost authority and expert on the population of 'High Risk' teens." Larson's organization, Straight Ahead Ministries, has spread worldwide.

He talks about the difference between pain/suffering & trauma as well as elements needed for healing from trauma. As you work with people who have been through trauma, this material may be helpful. 
To think about if someone you know is in the category of "at risk" consider this from one of Dr. Larson's books. These are community factors to determine if a kid is at-risk:

  • poorly functioning school system with high truancy & drop out rates
  • violence or strong bullying/stealing on school grounds
  • stootings & drug trade in the immediate community
  • high levels of poverty
  • few jobs available in the community
  • few or no youth in the neighborhood who attend church or church programs

As Dr. Larson says in one of his books about working with at-risk youth, "Then as I got to know some [at-risk teens] better, I discovered the rich leadership potential that was sitting latent in so many of them. Most of them just hadn't received the same breaks I had. Would I have turned out any different if I had been raised in the same environment?"