Indiana law allows a judge to sentence those over the age of 16 to life without parole for a murder conviction.
The Indiana Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges says the state needs to put more money into providing public defenders for juveniles.
In 2012, 34 percent of juvenile offenders were rearrested within three years, compared to 39.2 percent in 2010.
Howard, Clark and Elkhart counties recently joined an initiative aimed at developing sentencing alternatives for juveniles who have committed crimes.
The new law is being looked at with favor by local juvenile judges.
Indiana legal experts say new methods of rehabilitating teens convicted of crimes appear to be working, but could still be improved.