Parents may ask how long their child can be locked up as a juvenile in Pennsylvania, it's an understandable concern. The term locked up may not be the best term, however. The goal of the juvenile justice system is to treat, rehabilitate, and supervise a juvenile offender. The court would, as necessary, employ services that would allow a juvenile offender to move forward or to succeed at home and in the community, first and foremost.
If they're doing well in school, if they're listening at home, if they're staying out of further trouble, a juvenile does not have a risk of getting locked up. The juvenile is not doing well, however, if they're not adjusting well. The court as a later resort, not a last resort can have a young person be placed in a residential treatment facility like a structured school setting, it could last for 9 to 12 months, a school year could last for 18 months.
In cases of last resort, the juvenile court can have a juvenile go to a state placement, which is the most structured setting. There's various resources that the juvenile court has. It would be a rare instance, where a juvenile is actually locked up but it can happen to some degree.
Fundamentally, the juvenile court tries to have the young person succeed at home and in the community. An experienced Pennsylvania juvenile defense attorney will help you best understand and navigate the juvenile process and they should be involved in your child's case as early as possible.