Jail vs. juvenile rehabilitation court

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Today, people are beginning to pay more attention to the social impact of imprisonment.

As psychologists pay more attention to the causes of criminal behavior in children, such as addiction problems, alternatives to jail are becoming more popular. Here is more information for parents trying to keep their children out of jail if they have criminal offenses driven by addiction problems.


Traditionally, rehabilitation was a vital part of the criminal system. Prisoners resolved their psychological problems, such as addictions, and learned occupational skills to reintegrate into society. A lot of court sentences mandated treatment for any psychological issues.

However, today’s juvenile justice system has more of a harsh atmosphere and focuses on punishments. That has resulted in crowded prisons with people struggling with treatable psychological conditions and no lower crime rates.

Juvenile rehabilitation court

While prisons today ignore mental illnesses, diversionary court options, such as juvenile rehabilitation courts, emphasize that treating problems like addictions is a necessity, not a luxury. The court system helps parents find help for their children in these solutions. Screenings, therapies and counseling sessions are all employed to help avoid repeated offenses.

Relevant research

Today’s psychologists are researching the origins of criminal behavior, so they can shift parents’ focus from jail to diversionary courts. The data they contribute show that the shifts in the justice system that now emphasize punishment are not the best option for most youth.

It is common for youth to end up serving time due to criminal offenses. However, that does not address the underlying psychological problems, such as addictions, that caused the behavior. Instead, it can cause long-term damage and provide a short-term punishment, which parents could avoid with diversionary solutions.