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This question strikes a chord for me as I work with those in jail as well as homeless youth at risk. The biggest issue is money to fund the programs which help prevent the slide into delinquency. The money seems to be going to the punishment/prison side rather than the prevention side. The successful programs I see are diversion programs where offenders serve out their offense in creative ways like helping the elderly with chores, painting houses etc. Another type of diversion is to have students go before a student panel of judges which keeps the juvenile out of the court system. Job and training programs which lead to jobs are a big part of helping juveniles stay straight. Being in a school which understands the challenges they face to stay sober, stay straight, acquire job skills, and above all, stay in school seem to me to be huge issues also. If the money stays available and isn't cut for more prisons, we may actually do some prevention through mentoring programs. Stability and people who care in their lives keeps prevention on the front burner for many of them.
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