Locked up on TV

July 6, 2009
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Some of Indiana’s youngest criminals will visit living rooms and bedrooms across the country this summer thanks to a documentary series airing on MSNBC. This summer, Lake County’s Juvenile Justice Center will be featured in the network’s “Lockup” series. The show has featured prisons from around the country, including ones for adults in New Mexico and Utah. Karen Grau’s “Lake County Juvenile Justice” documentary premiered July 4 and photos from it can be viewed on MSNBC’s documentary site. The series filmed in Lake County will be shown on Saturdays at 10 p.m. this summer. Grau shot the 6 one-hour episodes in Judge Mary Bonaventura’s courtroom.

The Indiana Supreme Court has granted Grau access to the juvenile courts in Lake County several times. Grau said the goal of the documentary was to shed light on the issues facing the courts and children served by them.

I missed this most recent documentary, but I have seen “Juvies,” which ran on MTV a few years ago. It was also produced by Grau. What made me watch the show initially was that it was filmed in Lake County; what made me keep watching it was to see how our juvenile justice system worked and how the teens reacted to their punishments. I saw involved parents; no parents; or parents who passed on their lack of discipline and respect to their children. I saw kids that wanted to change and others who I just knew would end up in the system again.

Have you seen any of Grau’s documentaries? What do you think about these shows? Are they helping to educate the public on the judicial system and prisons?
  • Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for posting a note about our new series. Since you missed last week\'s episode
    you can tune into MSNBC this Saturday, July 11th at 9pm ET to catch the
    repeat of episode 1, just before an all new episode 2 at 10pm. If you liked the
    MTV series we think you will find this new series much more powerful. It
    can be difficult to watch but the stories are so important to tell. We owe an
    enormous amount of gratitude to the Indiana Supreme Court and Chief Justice
    Randall T. Shepard for allowing us such extraordinary access to film in Judge Bonaventura\'s courtroom and the Lake County Detention Center. Our outcomes for
    kids and families over the years following the airing our documentaries have been
    most rewarding of all. We hope you will tune in for the remaining 5 episodes
    of this MSNBC series.

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  1. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.

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