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Juvenile court to be featured in documentary

January 1, 2008
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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