When juvenile offenders are given jail time, people will sometimes act as if this is a deterrent against them from committing more crimes in the future. They will say that this young person needs to learn that lesson now so that they don’t re-offend and they can turn their life around.
This justification may make sense in theory, but it’s important to note that it doesn’t actually happen. In fact, studies have found that jail time is highly detrimental to young offenders and actively harms their chances in the future. It does the opposite of what is intended.
Reoffending odds go up
For example, the odds of reoffending double when someone has been detained as a young person. Compared to those who have never served time behind bars, the odds are twice as high that this person will commit another crime once they are an adult.
Dropping out of school
One reason for this could be that about 60% of those who are detained will drop out of school. Without an education, they may feel they have no prospects for work or college, and so they may feel forced to turn to criminal activities like theft or selling illegal substances.
Finally, it’s been found that about 33% of those who spend time in jail will develop depression as a result. This can be a lifelong condition that needs medical treatment, and it can lead to drug abuse in some cases.
If you’re the parent of a young person who simply wants the best for your child, you can see why it is important to know about all of the legal defense options at your disposal.