When a Pennsylvania juvenile faces charges for illegal drug activity, theft or other crimes, his or her case is adjudicated through the juvenile justice system. Parents and legal guardians are entitled to be present when investigators question a minor or a hearing takes place. The juvenile criminal defense system is focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment. The term, “recidivism” means a tendency to re-offend, and the system is also supposed to focus on preventing recurrence.
Juveniles often have more than just a home life. Typically, they also have school, sports activities, and perhaps even employment. When the adults in these areas join efforts, they may be able to spot high-risk behavior and help prevent misconduct. If a child is already in trouble with the law, adults, mentors and other authority figures may be able to help prevent the juvenile from re-offending.
Juvenile misconduct typically begins at 1 of 2 times
Studies show that kids who are prone to misconduct usually demonstrate undesirable behaviors either early in childhood or later, in their teen years. In both cases, risk factors may be present that suggest a particular juvenile is in a high-risk category. Kids in this category have a greater likelihood of facing criminal charges before their 18th birthday than children in low-risk categories.
Early intervention is a key to preventing recidivism. Mentoring programs, behavior management programs and things like after-school organized activities can also help prevent juveniles from becoming repeat offenders in the criminal justice system. Concerted efforts from parents, teachers, coaches, employers and other adults can help high-risk juveniles achieve their full potential and avoid legal trouble. If a minor is facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania, his or her parents will want to seek legal counsel from an attorney who understands the juvenile justice system in this state.