by Kelly Vance
This week, "The Unmaking of a Justice System": Are state and local juvenile justice officials really serious about addressing the root causes of youth crime? Or let's put it another way: If Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer gets sick, will Santa Claus really be able to find his way to our house this year with a sack full of goodies? Get ready for some bad news in the second installment of writer Kathleen Richards' "System Failure" mini-series. The juvenile justice machinery is broken, and it costs too much to fix. Most worrisome disclosure: that overworked police officers don't stop and actually talk to young offenders any more - they just take them directly to juvenile hall and wash their hands of the problem. Except that we all, eventually, get dirty.