The law, in general, recognizes the fact that youth offenders are not adults. Although youth offenders must be held accountable when they run afoul of the law, these juveniles have yet to fully mature. It’s in society’s best interest to help them and the community at large by implementing sentences that focus on guiding youth offenders toward becoming more productive citizens rather than toward becoming more hardened offenders. To this end, probation is almost always preferential to incarceration.
Incarceration Leads in the Wrong Direction
Current research strongly correlates the incarceration of youth offenders with greatly increased odds that they will commit crimes in the future. Most courts do not want to move in the direction of leading young offenders toward a more certain criminal future. This is not only for the good of the juvenile involved but also for the good of society. Children grow up, and many are able to shake their wobbly beginnings.
Most juveniles who wind up in the criminal justice system are the perpetrators of non-violent offenses, including underage possession of alcohol, shoplifting, vandalism, and other crimes that smack of youthful transgressions. Exposing these youth offenders to the hardened-criminal populations found in our jails and detention centers serves no higher purpose.
Benefits of Probation
When a youth offender is sentenced to probation rather than incarceration, that juvenile is usually sentenced to do community service and/or to participate in a relevant rehabilitative program, such as for drug and alcohol addiction. The juvenile offender is given a second chance and through that process is able to give back to the community and/or receive much needed rehabilitative services. The child’s family can remain intact, the child is provided with a growth opportunity for his or her future, and the community – on top of receiving community services – is more likely to have a healthy and contributive citizen in the future. Everyone wins.
If Your Child Is in Trouble with the Law, Call 973-686-9787 Today
If your child has gotten in trouble with the law or is facing a juvenile crime charge, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of David W. Polsky today. David has decades of experience in juvenile criminal defense and is committed to advocating for your child’s legal rights, including probation rather than incarceration. We’re here to help, so give us a call at 973-686-9787 or contact us online.