Some jurisdictions have used wilderness programs as an alternative to juvenile detention. This should be extended far more widely. It would be good for the kids, for their families, for the juvenile justice system, and for society.
Have they felt the hunger too? / it's an old emptiness under the rug, / the rumbling of dust / facing off to brawl for the blackened land. / Have they seen the faces with their hanging skin,
the yellowed teeth, the sun-bleached earth?
Residential treatment centers focus on helping the child take personal accountability. Through individual, group and family therapy, residential staff work on shifting the child from blaming others for his problems to acknowledging that he is where he is because he made poor choices.