The Sixth Division Circuit Court Juvenile Division will host a Juvenile Justice Forum at the Pine Bluff Convention Center March 27 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The Sixth Division Circuit Court Juvenile Division will host a Juvenile Justice Forum at the Pine Bluff Convention Center March 27 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The forum is being organized by Judge Earnest Brown and will include a panel discussion.

The panel is scheduled to include Levi Thomas, executive director of United Family Services; state Rep. James Word; Ronald Angel, director of the Division of Youth Services; Pine Bluff Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr.; Kyle Hunter, prosecutor for Jefferson and Lincoln counties; and Doris Rice, youth advocate program director for the sixth division.

Paul Kelley, senior policy analyst with Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, said that the forum will bring attention to new research and other work being done in Arkansas on handling youthful offenders.

“We will discuss the importance of having more community based programs, after school and summer programs to prevent students from getting into trouble,” Kelley said.

Kelley said that the forum will discuss research-based programs that provide mentoring to children.

“A result of this type of program is a reduction in recidivism,” Kelley said. “It is an example of the type of program that shows a reduction in the number of commitments to the Division of Youth Services. Kids need to be held accountable for what they do which includes reconciling with the victim.”

“Most of these kids are going back to their communities and they are going to need to be provided with effective programs that include drug treatment and family involvement,” Kelley said.

Details: Call 541-5455.