What is a good argument for the idea that status offenses should be decriminalized?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For the most part, status offenses have been decriminalized in the United States.   However, it is often the case that status offenders are placed in custody anyway for things like the violation of a court order. The juvenile justice system should do more to ensure that juveniles who commit status offenses will not end up in custody.  The reason for this is that status offenses are typically a sign of a need for mental health treatment or better education or some other issue that is not well-served through incarceration.  Decriminalization of status offenses would be more likely to reduce the number of juvenile status offenders who go on to commit more serious crimes.