[San Francisco Chronicle] Prosecution of juveniles is increasingly controlled by automatic, legislatively determined sentencing that lets politicians, not judges, decide who should be incarcerated, who should be tried and punished as an adult, and who should be sent to a juvenile program for treatment and supervision. Fortunately, there are alternatives. Some states have developed effective approaches to crime reduction that both enhance community safety and deliver age-appropriate penalties for young offenders. These approaches depend on a broad mix of programs and graduated punishments tailored to offenders' ages and unique circumstances.
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