It’s a common misconception that children under the age of 18 cannot be incarcerated, they can. Usually, those convicted of serious criminal offenses or repeat offenses at this age are sent to juvenile detention centers. Some claim that juvenile detention centers offer rehabilitation and a chance for a fresh start, but is this really the case? Remember, your child is vulnerable and they could have been wrongly targeted by law enforcement. Outlined below are some of the key reasons why it’s so important to protect your child from incarceration.
The vicious cycle of crime
As stated, juvenile detention centers are often portrayed as places that instill law-abiding values into kids and young adults. Kids are supposed to come out with a new perspective on life and make an honest living. The truth is that many kids actually pick up criminal skills in these centers, turning them into hardened criminals on the outside. It can be difficult enough for young people to decide what they want to do as a career, let alone if they have picked up a criminal record along the way. In fact, studies suggest that a prospective employee “having spent time in prison” is the most likely factor to put an employer off. Left in this predicament, what choice is a child left with other than to turn to crime to make money and potentially survive? Your child has the presumption of innocence in law and the right to a fair hearing. Protecting them from incarceration is vital and having legal guidance will help you to do this.