Alternatives to Detention
Placing juveniles in a detention facility is not always the best way to go. There are a number of alternatives that can be used instead of putting a juvenile in a facility. When deciding which type of program to place a juvenile in, the court officials must take into consideration the safety of the public. Many offenders can be effectively rehabilitated through community-based supervision while there are other serious offenders that may require confinement to protect others. Outright release is the first alternative to detention for nonviolent and first time offenders. A study reported that the number of youth released to their families or nonsecure residential alternatives was substantially increased. The result of this has been a slight increase in the number of failures to appear before the court but there has been no increase in rearrests. Juveniles who are thought to be too risky for outright release, because they may commit more crimes or may not appear for future meetings, can be placed on supervised release rather than being placed in secure detention. There are three ways to administer supervised release. Home detention requires the juvenile to stay at home during a specified time period. This could be at all times, at all times except when in school or at work, or having a curfew. More conditions can be placed as well, such as subjecting to random drug testing. If these rules are broken, the juvenile can be placed in secure detention. When placed on home detention, a worker does daily checks on the juvenile. Electronic monitoring, which is also known as house arrest, is also used with home detention. This is the use of electronic devices that emit electronic signals. The whereabouts of the offender is monitored by an electronic device that is attached to the wrist or ankle. The purpose is to monitor an offender’s presence in a given area where the offender is required to remain or to verify the offender’s...
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