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The Potential of Music in Juvenile Justice Settings

Can you remember a time when you connected strongly to music as a teenager? What role did it play for you as an individual, and how did it connect you to others? Carnegie Hall has set out to answer similar questions with teenagers, with a recent focus on court-involved teenagers.

It’s important to note the numbers regarding troubled youth. Approximately half of young offenders return to the juvenile justice system in one way or another within 12 months of their release. Why is this? In response to this question and others like it, a reform movement among government and service organizations has gained momentum, and Carnegie Hall believes that music has a role to play as the system moves towards emphasizing rehabilitation instead of discipline.


A newly released exploratory paper written by arts consultant firm WolfBrown in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute delves into questions, contexts, and examples related to these issues. The paper investigates the potential of music to make contributions to the lives of young people in juvenile justice settings, building on the current work of many of the institutions committed to these youths. Carnegie Hall itself plans to continue work in this area by offering creative projects in New York City detention, placement, and probation facilities this season.

The paper is also an invitation for future conversations between readers and stakeholders about the fresh and innovative support a reformed juvenile justice system may require, and how the arts and the larger community can play a role.

Please take a moment to read this paper by downloading here:
May The Songs I Have Written Speak For Me: An Exploration Of The Potential Of Music In Juvenile Justice by Lea Wolf, MS & Dennie Wolf, Ed.D

Musical Connections  
Connecting Through Music: Part 1 
Carnegie Hall's Musical Connections Program honored with a 2011 ACS Child Advocacy Award this Spring

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