Juvenile incarceration declined 68 percent - KLFY News 10

Juvenile incarceration declined 68 percent

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MONROE, La. (AP) - A Pew Research study showed Louisiana joined 18 states that have seen at least a 50 percent decline in juvenile confinement.

According to the study, juvenile incarceration declined 68 percent between 1997 and 2011.

Between 2010 and 2011, the number of committed youth_those locked up as a result of a court-ordered sanction_fell in 43 states. That's according to the most recent data released by the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

University of Louisiana at Monroe criminal justice professor Robert Hanser tells The News-Star youths do better if they are kept in the least restrictive environment.

In addition, Hanser says there is substantial need for mental health services to be focused on this population.

"Substance abuse is one key area of intervention that is very important with this population, and this includes both preteens and teenagers," Hanser said.

In addition, Hanser said, there is substantial need for mental health services to be focused on this population.

"This is particularly true because, as research in the 1990s and beyond has found, the adolescent brain goes through rapid change and may continue to do so through the early 20s, for some youth and/or young adults," Hanser said. "This adjustment period is exacerbated by bouts of depression, anxiety, issues related to self-esteem, cognitive challenges, educational demands, and so forth. For troubled youth, interventions that specifically address these presenting problems will likely reduce the need for restrictive approaches such as detention facilities."

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