In Arizona, a radical change in juvenile detention

How a rural town transformed a juvenile facility into a safe space for teens.

St. Johns, Arizona, calls itself “the town of friendly neighbors.” With a population of around 3,500 people and a surrounding landscape of ponderosa pine forests and rolling hills peppered with cattle, the quaint town is as bucolic and all-American as it gets. It’s why Michael Latham moved here with his wife and kids back in 2009.

When Michael Latham became judge of Apache County, Arizona, in 2014, one of his priorities was to reinvent the county’s underutilized youth detention facility. Amy S. Martin / 70 Million.



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Working to inform and inspire people — through in-depth journalism — to act on behalf of the West’s diverse natural and human communities.