But when a 17-year-old commits a crime, is he or she considered a juvenile or an adult? The answer to that depends on the state in which the crime was committed. Increasingly, individual states are enacting laws that recognize 17-year-olds as juveniles, reversing laws that suggested they are adults.
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If we don't incarcerate young people in conflict with the law, what do we do with them? The answer is simple: We care for and invest in our young people; resource families and communities to safely hold youth accountable; invest in each young person's success, and; address the root causes of youth crime in the communities where the youth live, all in the context of their homes and neighborhoods.