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California considering alternative sentencing for juvenile crimes

A larger national push toward community programs versus detention and confinement for youth could have some judges ordering alternatives for young offenders. The state of California has two large funding sources for juvenile justice purposes and some of those funds are earmarked for community-based services for youth. Individuals charged with juvenile crimes may not necessarily face detention, but it will depend on the circumstance and the location. 

Also, being charged with a crime is not the same as being guilty. A criminal charge is an allegation until it is proved with evidence presented in court. Some juveniles may find themselves a part of the juvenile justice system nevertheless, and experts say that detaining juveniles is not necessarily the most cost-effective or therapeutic route for youthful offenders and that individuals are better served with alternative, community-based programs. 

Most of the justice funds for minors are dedicated to probation and detention services. Research shows, however, that detention may be more likely to result in future entanglements with the corrections system and that supervised monitoring is problematic for youthful individuals. Legislation and policies are evolving to reflect these findings, in the state and across the nation. 

A child who has been charged with juvenile crimes faces an uncertain future. Detention, probation restrictions, fines and other penalties are possible. Even alternative sentences can be an impediment or inconvenience, depending on the case. Some individuals in California are able to defend against allegations of criminal activity. Many choose an experienced criminal defense attorney's help for building a strong defense against the charges. 

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Fisher Law Office

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