Pauel determines where they go next — home to their family or group home, sometimes on electronic monitoring, or upstairs to the juvenile temporary detention center.
Before they leave her courtroom, Pauel directs them to her bookshelf and invites them to grab a book or two. To read. To keep. No strings attached.
“I usually go stand next to them when they pick out a book, and it’s the first time that I’m not up on this bench,” she said. “I’m just a person standing next to them, like, ‘What do you like?’ We just talk. Sometimes they’re just shocked. ‘Do I return this to you?’
“I don’t think they get a lot of stuff.”