ILNews

Juvenile court to be featured in documentary

IL Staff
January 1, 2008
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A Lake County juvenile court will once again allow cameras in to capture the inner workings of the court for a nationally broadcast documentary.

Indianapolis documentary filmmaker Karen Grau will have access to Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura's courtroom in Crown Point to film and produce six, one-hour documentary programs. The goal of the series is to shed light on the issues facing the courts and children served by the court.

Because of the nature of the documentary, the Indiana Supreme Court authorized Grau to bring cameras in the courtroom. Filming will begin soon and the series will air on MSNBC in 2009.

Grau and Judge Bonaventura have worked together on other projects, including "Juvies," an eight-part documentary that aired on MTV and featured the judge's courtroom. Grau wants to focus on tougher crimes with this new series and explore how those children's cases are handled. She hopes that focusing on these cases will show why so many teens re-offend.

Participants have to give Grau prior written consent in order to be filmed for the documentary and Court Appointed Special Advocates will be able to voice their concerns about the effect of a child's participation.

Grau has created several documentaries based on the juvenile courts that have aired on Indiana and national television stations. She's won the Edward R. Murrow Award along with multiple awards for programming about children and the courts.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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