About Us

In 2003, after noticing a substantial increase in the number of juvenile complaints to the court (largely for misdemeanors), unmanageable caseloads, high recidivism 

rates and low graduation rates, Judge Steven Teske began to consider the impact that zero tolerance policies were having on school campuses in Clayton County. Armed with the knowledge that children who are arrested are statistically more likely to fall deeper into the juvenile justice system, which ultimately leads to higher unemployment and poverty rates and overall decrease in community health, Judge Teske poised for action. He used a judicial leadership model as the approach to address the problem and decided to convene a collaboration of system stakeholders with one single objective - to reduce school arrests. The collaboration worked in partnership to frame the problem and identify solutions and resources. The outcomes are overwhelmingly positive in decreasing unnecessary detainment and confinement and in turn lead to an increase in promoting school connectedness and school climates.

Annual admissions

length of stay

commitments to juvenile justice

Detention Center usage

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The work of Judge Teske and the Clayton County collaboration has become informally known as the "Teske Model."

The model has been captured in the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCFCJ) technical assistance bulletin School Pathways to the Juvenile Justice System Project: A Practice Guide. 

Let’s reform

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