The Knox County Public Defender's office hosted a panel aimed at having an open discussion about what goes on inside juvenile court.

The panel featured community activists, experts on juvenile justice, and attorneys who specialize in juvenile cases.

Attendees raised concerns about the impact an arrest has on a young person and the amount of money the country spends incarcerating young people.

Locally, the public defender's office is working to focus more on helping young people.

“We have, at the public defender’s office, put a real emphasis on our presence at juvenile court and juvenile justice related issues,” said 6th Judicial District Public Defender Mark Stephens.

Monday was also an opportunity for people to ask questions about the court system and discuss what they think can be done to improve outcomes for young people in the justice system.

“The juvenile justice system is inherently confidential, it's a closed courtroom and folks really don't know what's happening to kids down there,” said Wendy Bach with the University of Tennessee Law School.

The panel concluded with a discussion on the idea of one day abolishing that system.