MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Governor Bob Riley has signed a law that will keep troubled teenagers who run away and are truant from school from being locked up in juvenile detention.
The Juvenile Justice reform law is designed to send teens who haven't committed crimes to community programs and not the Department of Youth Services.
Riley said that recently at least 79 percent of the kids in DYS custody were locked up for nonviolent behavior.
The law gives counties 18 months to develop programs that the youngsters can go to and the teens can still be sent to DYS during this time.
At the end of the 18 months, however, non-criminal teens will no longer be allowed to be locked up in DYS.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)