Some people hear the term “juvenile justice” and think that it relates to having to deal with young, misguided people who don’t have a chance. They might think that all of these juveniles are “lost causes,” but this is a tragic misconception. Many juveniles who are involved in the juvenile justice system don’t have to be a “lost cause,” but they do need to be given tools to make the changes necessary to move into adulthood as productive citizens.
Juvenile justice deals with various facets of life as a minor. No matter what issues children are dealling with, the court needs to find ways to provide services that can help them. For some, this means offering social support, but for others, it means spending time in a juvenile correctional facility.
The street mentality
Many minors involved in the juvenile justice system come from a life on the streets. This puts them at a marked disadvantage with respect to rehabilitation because they may not have the means to get what they need. The street mentality can cause them to seem defiant, but often, this defiance is a call for help.
There aren’t easy answers in the juvenile justice system. Each decision has to consider so many factors that it might be difficult to discern the most productive options. The court has to weigh the law, victims, the juveniles, juveniles’ parents and the impact that these young people can have on society.
Moving past the juvenile justice system
While not every case is a success story, people who are involved in the juvenile justice system can cling to the successes that come out of the system. There are two truths that become evident in all success stories. First, the juveniles want to change and turn away from a life of crime. Second, they have a strong support system that will keep them uplifted as they march on with life.
Even when juveniles seem like “lost causes,” people involved in the juvenile justice system can’t give up on them. Instead, it is imperative to find ways to provide the services and help the children need. Juveniles who are facing court cases do have rights that must be respected. Often, they will turn to the adults involved in their cases to ensure that they are getting what they need and aren’t being swept under the rug.