Study: Fewer Wisconsin Youth Being Locked Up

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- A national study says Wisconsin is one of nine states that have drastically cut the incarceration rate for juvenile offenders.

A Press-Gazette Media report cites a new study by the National Juvenile Justice Network and the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The study says Wisconsin had 1,271 juveniles incarcerated in 2000. That was about twice the number from 1985. But since then numbers have fallen below the 1985 levels, a 43 percent decrease.

As of 2010, Wisconsin had a youth incarceration rate of 150 per 100,000 juveniles. That's 28 percent below the U.S. average.

The study credits the state's use of community-based programs instead of incarceration.

Brian Laurent runs a detention center in Brown County. He says as officials learn more about human behavior, they're coming up with other alternatives to incarceration.

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