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What is the Oregon Youth Authority?

Young people are still learning. Much of that learning is done in an educational environment, but some is done through social experimentation. Teens, for example, may push the boundaries for their relationship with their parents or friends. They may experiment with new hairstyles, clothing or music. While much of this is normal and healthy, mistakes can be made along the way.

When juveniles -- Oregon residents under the age of 18 -- make a mistake that results in a criminal charge, it can have serious long-term consequences. These can include an impact on the person's educational, employment and housing opportunities for years to come. Much like adults that are charged with crimes, juveniles can also face imprisonment and other harsh consequences.

The Oregon Youth Authority is one state agency that is responsible for overseeing some of these consequences for juvenile offenders. The OYA helps to hold juveniles accountable for criminal activity. This office oversees thousands of children and young adults at one time. This includes juveniles that have been charged with drug charges, rape, arson, robbery or murder.

The OYA is responsible for running the close-custody facilities that some juvenile offenders are sentenced to. The agency also oversees juveniles -- and adults up to age 24 that have committed crimes as juveniles -- who have been sentenced to probation or parole. In addition to punishing juveniles, the OYA also provides rehabilitation. This includes medical and substance abuse treatment and other similar programs. These aim to help juvenile offenders avoid a repeat offense.

Much like adult offenders, juveniles have legal rights. While this blog post can only provide general information about juvenile crimes, a criminal defense attorney can give specific legal advice. When juveniles face penalties, this advice can help ensure their rights are protected.

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