In New Zealand’s rural Taranaki region, adolescent boys growing up in poverty often end up turning to crime, some racking up criminal convictions before they hit 16. Most young offenders find themselves locked up—but a lucky few get a chance to avoid juvenile detention by participating in START Taranaki, an early intervention program designed to give them a second lease on life. Through individualized counseling, spending time in the wilderness of the Taranaki bush, and taking a guided transition back to their communities, START works to make sure kids don’t wind up back in court once they leave the program.

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