“Even bad kids have good parts, and without the good kids, you never find out what they are.”
–Janitor Harley, aka Harvey Keiner on “Girl Meets World,” Reformed Bully from “Boy Meets World”
I love his character. He speaks truth. You need to surround kids who are struggling with kids who can encourage them and be positive influences for them. If you take kids who have more issues or make some mistakes and just push them away from the main group or lock them all together somewhere, you only infect them with more of each other’s issues. Our society, as advanced as it wants to believe it is, has not yet figured this out. Yes, some will still need to be incarcerated for safety, but not as many as this country has found to be profitable.
Also from the TV show, Cory Matthews, now a teacher, like his childhood role models Mr. Feeney and Mr. Turner, often says the secret of life is that PEOPLE CHANGE PEOPLE. They influence each other one way or another.
This may be why some of the more successful long term changes appear to come from therapeutic programs that are longer in length, not for profit, and have slow turn over. Relationships and rapport matter. It takes time to build those.