Apparently, Missouri is on the cutting edge for their treatment of juvenile offenders - but only after they receive a sentence. You can read a New York Times article about "the Missouri Model" here.
If you're a juvenile who has been found guilty and sentenced for a crime in Missouri, you will most likely be placed in one of the state's regional residential centers, which functions like a group home. The juveniles housed there get counseling and education services. They try to place kids close to home, so that parents can participate in therapy with their children.
The recidivism rate for Missouri juveniles is among the lowest in the nation.
According to The Boy's Deputy Juvenile Officer (DJO), if The Boy behaves himself while he's on temporary probation (until his adjudication hearing on 9/25), a year of regular probation will be recommended to the court. The DJO will visit The Boy at school once a week; in addition, I will have to drive The Boy to a meeting at the DJO's office once every month.
There is no additional programming involved in probation. He will NOT receive any counseling. I asked if there were any Anger Management classes available (since its the aggressive outbursts that get The Boy into trouble) - we're waiting for a response on that one.
It seems to me that if a child gets sent to detention in Missouri, they get a better shot. Does anyone else see the irony here?
Don't you think it would also behoove the criminal justice system to create a more extensive probation program for youthful offenders who are NOT detained? We've done this probation thing before (in NY); obviously, it did not act as a deterrent in The Boy's mind.
Being jumpsuited, cuffed and shackled did leave an imprint on The Boy (literally and figuratively). Let's hope that that's one lesson he doesn't easily forget.