Philadelphia—An innovative program in Santa Cruz County, California, keeps juvenile offenders at home with their families when possible. It provides day treatment centers where repeat offenders attend school, receive help for mental and/or substance abuse disorders, undergo counseling, and participate in art therapy and recreational activities. The program, which operates 6 days a week, involves the youths' families and requires participants to make restitution, where appropriate, to their victims and their community.
To effectively prevent violence by disaffected youths, say experts, alternatives should be developed that keep teenagers in some sort of learning program rather than "dumping" them out of school and into the streets where they may be exposed to influences that increase their violent tendencies. (Photo credit: William Fritsch/Brand X Pictures/Picture Quest)
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