For Texas parents, finding out that their child or teenager has been charged with a crime can seem like their worst nightmare come to life. Disbelief, humiliation, and guilt are all emotions that parents experience. As they try to process their feelings, it’s important that they focus on the future and doing what is best for their child. Their main goal should be to help their child make up for their mistakes while facing the lowest criminal consequences and redirecting them toward a better future. Unfortunately, the juvenile justice system can make this feel like a losing battle as teens in trouble can face significant bias in the courtroom.
Are consequences good?
Many parents find themselves wondering if they should even work to defend their child in court or if they should let them face the consequences of their actions. While teens should certainly deal with the responsibility of their actions, research has shown that incarcerating juveniles can actually careen them toward a lifetime of criminal behavior and jail time as adults. Parents can best protect their child by getting them a low sentence and then work with counselors and other professionals to correct their behavior.
What makes juveniles at risk in court?
Juveniles that have made bad choices or veered off the right path often face stigma in the courtroom. Judges and juries have a tendency to pick good children out as “bad seed” simply because they made a bad choice during an impulsive moment. Teens can also bring more problems on themselves since they are often awkward and uncomfortable throughout the legal process, leading the courts to think that they are disinterested or rude.
We all make mistakes, and many of our mistakes are made when we’re young adults. By working to overcome the bias in the juvenile justice system, you can take the steps necessary to help your child grow past their bad choices without destroying their future.