SAN JOSE (KCBS) — Santa Clara County Juvenile hall is a much less crowded place these days, with an effort to divert young offenders showing positive results.

A policy change, implemented last year that encouraged sending young offenders to alternative facilities has made the juvenile hall population drop by half.

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District Attorney Jeff Rosen said when dealing with young offenders, you don’t want to use excessively punitive measures.

“Sometimes when we put kids in juvenile hall that were maybe not violent before, they are certainly in an element where they lot of violent kids,” Rosen said. “It may lead to them becoming more involved in serious crime.”

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KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

County Supervisor Dave Cortese who implemented the measure said he doesn’t think kids under 13 should be sent to juvenile hall.

“There’s organized gang activity heavily represented in juvenile hall, so we’re trying to keep young kids who still have chance away from what really could be a bad influence,” Cortese said.

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