Aggressive Criminal Defense

Mental health, diversion and the juvenile justice system

On Behalf of | Criminal Defense |

Juvenile crime is problematic for many reasons. Among them is the risk that your child could be imprisoned or face other serious penalties.

It may be difficult to understand why your child would do something they know is wrong or to how to best protect them once something does go wrong. The good news is that most people do understand that minors are not adults. They don’t have the experiences that adults do and may not fully comprehend how their actions affect others or have consequences.

As a result, it may be possible to have the charges against your child dropped or altered if they are able to be rehabilitated in other ways.

Mental health is a major concern in youth

One thing you have to consider is how juvenile crime rates are affected by mental health. Mental health issues, along with substance use disorders, are common among those who commit crimes at a younger age.

Children who have run-ins with the law need to have appropriate care, protection and guidance to overcome the issues they’re dealing with and to avoid recidivism later in life.

The Juvenile justice system is there to handle cases involving those 18 and younger. The system handles all kinds of processes such as:

  • The arrest
  • Detainment
  • Hearings
  • Dispositions
  • Probation
  • Reentry
  • Placement
  • Petitions

The juvenile justice system works much like the adult system, but there is an added focus on rehabilitation, skill development and addressing youths’ treatment needs.

Could diversion help your child?

Sometimes, diversion is in the best interests of your child. The goal of diversion is to channel young people away from the system through other means. For example, placing a child with a drug abuse problem in treatment could be a form of diversion. There are many diversion programs available.

When your child is in trouble with the law and you suspect that mental health issues could be a part of the issue, it’s important to talk to your attorney about the available options for help. As a parent, you may be extremely upset about the situation, but remember that the system is designed to help minors overcome current challenges and reduce the likelihood of reoffending in the future.

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