From Youthful Offender to Repeat Offender: Stop the Problem

Posted by Thomas MallonMay 01, 20160 Comments

From Youthful Offender to Repeat Offender: Stop the Problem

It started with a petty theft in a grocery store. Paris stole candy on a dare from a few friends, who'd done the same without getting caught.

Paris wasn't as fortunate. In juvenile court, a judge remanded the 13-year-old to a special program and community service. The problem grew worse leading to grand theft, carjacking and drug dealing. Soon, the once innocent teen standing in juvenile court, now faced life in prison as a 28-year-old repeat offender for a string of felony crimes that couldn't be erased.

Preventing criminal behavior from taking root in a child begins with understanding what causes the problem. Violence is a foundation mixed with genetics and the environment in which a child is reared. According to experts, violence is comprised of social, biological and psychological factors. These factors can develop within the child shame, vulnerability and humiliation, which leads to poor self-esteem.

The methods that stops children and youth from entering violent crime is to make them feel safe, develop within them self-worth, make them feel cared about; and build within them healthy self-esteem. To learn more about changing the behavior of youth at an early age read the Psychology Today article 7 Ways HYPERLINK “”ToHYPERLINK “” Stop Violence At Every Age.

Our law firm can help your family find the best juvenile diversion program for teenagers, including counseling and rehabilitation services.

A large majority of teens connected with the juvenile justice system experience some type of behavioral health problem that can be diagnosed, including those diagnosed with a combination of mental illness and substance abuse. A lack of community treatment centers and services and early intervention create a potential focus on violent crimes. To learn more about youthful offender behaviors read the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice Prevention, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice article titled Strengthening Our Future: Key Elements HYPERLINK “”ToHYPERLINK “” Developing a Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice Diversion Program for Youth With Behavioral Health Condition.

If a teenager serves a prison sentence as a juvenile, when he or she is released it is important to send them to a juvenile-style re-entry program, experts say. The structured program would include mandatory GED completion, job training, counseling and self-esteem building.

Building family relationships through in prison visits, helps to reestablish love, forgiveness and resolution regarding the criminal violation. To learn more about deterring juvenile crime read The Washington Post article Virginia awarded federal grant for juvenile re-entry services.

No matter how minor the offense, diverting juvenile offenses starts with the first arrest. When parents face a sobering fact that the offense can escalate to more serious crimes without little to know provocation depending on the youth's mental health condition.