The legal system for juveniles is much different than that for adults. The juvenile system focuses on rehabilitation and trying to help the child solve whatever issues led to his or her legal problems.
Because of this, detention is not an ideal solution in most cases. The court does not want to hold a child in jail unless it is absolutely necessary. The law even specifies when specifically a juvenile may remain behind bars.
The law states a judge can only reprimand a child to jail before a trial when that child is a danger to others or there is a proven risk he or she will not show up to court. The goal of juvenile detention centers is to serve as a temporary holding system and not a place for long-term stays. Because of this, the state does not have a large number of juvenile detention centers with a lot of space to hold offenders.
After a trial, a juvenile may stay in a facility while awaiting transfer to another place, such as placement in an in-patient program.
Difference from the adult system
The detention aspect of the juvenile system is much different from that of the adult system. In the adult system, a person can generally expect to stay in jail after an arrest unless he or she pays bail. In addition, the court can always send an adult back to jail during the trial if there is a concern or something happens. In the juvenile system, the law only allows the two exceptions. The court cannot use detention unless it is necessary for safety or to ensure the child shows up in court.