Common communitybased alternatives include centers that youth offenders attend in the community each evening, home detention, short-term shelter care, and small community homes. Homeless children and youth: Causes and consequences.
Community-based programs and services can produce positive social outcomes, such as a decreased dependence on alcohol and illegal substances, especially in the first six months after release from a facility.
Often times, the sentence might call for placement in a traditional juvenile residential placement facility.
For those who are charged with serious crimes, including murder, assault, and robbery, many states have systems in place that allow the transfer from juvenile court to adult court.
For example, it is developmentally normative for adolescents to take greater risks and show greater susceptibility to peer influences than adults.
Statutory waiver or automatic transfer: Allows for juveniles to be sent automatically to adult criminal court based solely on the category of crime they are charged with. Once adult/always adult: Requires juvenile offenders who were previously in adult criminal court to be transferred automatically for any future crime. Transfers of youth from juvenile court to adult criminal court are not exclusively reserved for the most violent juvenile offenders.
20 These large residential placement facilities can range in both setting and security, from rehabilitation camp-like programs to juvenile prisons.
In a 2006 survey, juvenile offenders reported symptoms of mental health illness and trauma, regardless of age, race, or gender.
18 The recidivism rate drops even more when juveniles are placed in community-based centers as an alternative to traditional residential facilities.
19 While youth who are charged with the most serious and violent offenses are more likely to be tried as adults and sentenced to adult prison, juveniles with more mid-range offenses, including burglary, theft, or repeat juvenile offenders, often spend time at a traditional juvenile residential placement facility.