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juvenile criminal records

Why juvenile delinquency charges need to be taken seriously

A Juvenile Delinquency Charge can have long-lasting impact

It’s easy to dismiss a juvenile delinquency charge as something that won’t stay on your “permanent record” and that won’t result in long-term legal punishment. But the truth is that a juvenile delinquency charge can have very long-term effects on a person’s life outside the legal system. The juvenile may not end up with a long sentence, but research now shows that even a short stay in a juvenile detention center can set him or her on a totally different and unwelcome path.

The research in the spotlight was published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. It looked at outcomes of juvenile detention sentencing in random courtrooms and how the sentencing affected the juveniles after they were released. The researchers found that, when sentenced by a judge with a high incarceration rate, a juvenile released from detention had a much lower chance of completing high school, and a higher chance of being incarcerated — in other words, a higher chance of going on to commit more crimes — as an adult.

Understand that even when juvenile incarceration is short, the psychological effects linger. In today’s fast-paced world, missing even a month or two of school can make catching up seem impossible. There is also the potential social shame of having been in detention, and if the teen isn’t surrounded by supportive family and friends, he or she could decide it isn’t worth it to try to catch up or even stay in school.

If your teen is facing a juvenile delinquency charge, take it seriously. Speak with a lawyer who can help the teen reduce or avoid detention. The lawyers at Eisenberg Law Offices will evaluate the situation and discuss your options, and they’ll help you deal with the court process. Don’t assume this type of charge can be shrugged off. Your teen needs legal help now.