I know that the juvenile justice system doesn't seem to have found a way to turn the lives of these young people around. Punishment does not seem to matter if the root of the problem (what caused the behavior requiring punishment) is not addressed. If it is not addressed early, many of these people will struggle into adulthood, quite possibly making the same mistakes.
I am concerned, too, about how the rights of parents are limited—at least in Pennsylvania. If a young person is in need of counseling or commitment into some kind of rehab. center, parents are not permitted to make him/her go. If that young person agrees to enter a facility, he/she can sign him- or herself out when it is desirable. However, the parents are still legal liable for whatever the underage son or daughter does. So parents cannot require their child go to rehab, but must pay fines, etc., for any damage the youngster may do.
This system ties the hands of the parents, and allows the young person to believe that there are no consequences of any merit...for their records can expunged prior to 18. After 18, there are permanent consequences that I do not believe the court system takes into account.