In Lake county, Ohio, US judicial and educational authorities have joined hands to bring the detained kids back on right track through online education.
In hindsight, Becky Wright is glad she got sent to the Lake County Juvenile Justice Center.
Otherwise, the 17-year-old probably would have never graduated from high school.
Becky (whose name has been changed to protect her identity) recently completed a 137-day sentence for falsification, using drugs and being a runaway.
Lake County Juvenile Court Judge Karen Lawson refused to let her leave the Painesville detention facility until she graduated from Bridge to Success, the online school in the Willoughby-Eastlake system.
Bridge to Success and other local online school programs recently joined forces with Lawson to make it easier for students to complete their high school education while serving time at the justice center.
"I would have dropped out," Becky said. "I probably would have died or something if Judge Lawson wouldn't have forced me to do the online school. Because I was on that route."
The detention center's underutilized wood shop was converted into a computer lab, which serves as both the detention center's and the court's alternative school for suspended and expelled children who are not being detained.
The computer lab was built to address a growing need.
"Often, by the time a juvenile has committed a serious enough offense to warrant detention time, they have fallen significantly behind in their education," Lawson said.
"More and more Lake County schools are offering online education. Also, there are an increasing number of Lake County students who are attending online schools. Our new computers were put in place to take advantage of these new programs and get these students back on track."
The juveniles are always supervised by either detention center or educational services staff who make sure the computers are only used to complete schoolwork. Teachers are also available to answer any questions a student may have.
Officials also have installed software to restrict the computers' use to educational purposes.
Dennis Carr, a court-appointed teacher, said he expects to get more computers as the school year goes along and more school districts provide online opportunities.
"During the summer, the kids who were incarcerated were also able to work on their summer school, which in the past wasn't a possibility," he said.
Breda Loncar, administrator for Bridge to Success, said she is pleased students can now earn credits toward their high school diploma online while detained.