But when a 17-year-old commits a crime, is he or she considered a juvenile or an adult? The answer to that depends on the state in which the crime was committed. Increasingly, individual states are enacting laws that recognize 17-year-olds as juveniles, reversing laws that suggested they are adults.
If we don't incarcerate young people in conflict with the law, what do we do with them? The answer is simple: We care for and invest in our young people; resource families and communities to safely hold youth accountable; invest in each young person's success, and; address the root causes of youth crime in the communities where the youth live, all in the context of their homes and neighborhoods.