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Young Offenders

Prosecutor hopes jail time will straighten out young offenders

A Missouri prosecutor is hoping a day in jail will keep young first-time drug offenders from making the same mistake twice. Stone County Prosecutor Matt Selby says he's breaking ground by requiring first-time misdemeanor offenders, between 17 and 20, to spend 24 hours in jail. He says fines and community service don't seem to be working. Some detractors say Selby's one-size-fits-all approach could end up doing more harm than good. They say putting youths in jail for minor crimes might take away the mystery of being locked up and make them less afraid of going back. On top of the jail time, the young offenders also can be ordered to take up to three drug tests while on probation.

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