As the system is currently structured, the majority are ordered "home on probation," which involves regular visits with a probation officer while a youth either lives at home or in a court-ordered "suitable placement" with a relative or in a group home. But are these probation programs working?
Teenagers didn't always exist. They had to be invented. As the cultural landscape around the world was thrown into turmoil during the industrial revolution, and with a chasm erupting between adults and youth, the concept of a new generation took shape.
Teenagers are attracted to novel and risky activities, especially with peers, at a time when they lack judgment and the ability to weigh future consequences. How specifically should this scientific insight into teenage risk taking inform policy and legal decisions?
Today, Niroga conducts over 100 yoga classes a week in 40 sites throughout the Bay Area, serving over 5,000 children, youth, and adults annually, in mainstream and alternative schools, juvenile halls and jails, rehab centers, and cancer hospitals.
The rundown building is surrounded by barbed wire. Inside, kids sleep in narrow locked cells, no different from what you'd find in an adult jail. They are subjected to strip searches and attend an hour or two of "school" in a crowded room filled with a random selection of books.
If you sit in juvenile delinquency court long enough, you notice a few things. Most of the kids are black or brown. Almost all of the families are poor. And a huge percentage of the children have problems in school - learning difficulties, mental health needs, behavioral issues, or all three.
Over the years -- long before and after 1950s America -- experts have targeted everything from genes to poverty to poor parenting and worse teachers as the source of teenage misbehavior. Now comes a fresh idea from psychological science.
Scientists and clinicians are interested in the dynamic interaction of perception and aggression. Looking for trouble, and seeing it, may be a deep cognitive bias--a negativity bias--that distorts normal emotional processing.
Maybe it's because the weather has been unseasonably calm this year, but there has been a rash of examples of parents forcing their children to stand out in the open with signs declaring the ways in which the youngsters have misbehaved.
By age 23, 1 in 3 youth in the U.S. has been arrested for a non-traffic offense. To those who say that we can't afford to spend money on this now, or that government should stay out of people's lives, I say this: You can't escape 1 in 3.