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Why juvenile delinquency charges need to be taken seriously

A 2015 study called "Juvenile Incarceration, Human Capital and Future Crime: Evidence from Randomly Assigned Judges" revealed just how negatively incarceration affects the lives of America's youth.

The authors of the study -- a Brown University scholar and an MIT scholar -- poured over 10 years of data pertaining to about 35,000 juvenile offenders in the Chicago area before reaching their conclusions.

Ultimately, the researchers found that when a juvenile was assigned to a judge with a high incarceration rate in previous cases, the juvenile was less likely to complete high school and more likely to be incarcerated as an adult, including for crimes of violence.

More specifically, the researchers concluded that incarceration decreases the chances of a juvenile completing high school by 13 to 39 percent, and increases the chances of incarceration as an adult by 23 to 41 percent when compared to average students in the same geographical area.

The researchers found that even though juvenile incarceration is often short in duration -- one to two months -- it can impact the juvenile's entire future, making the juvenile "unlikely to ever return to school" and "more likely to be classified for special education services due to behavioral/emotional disorders," the researchers said.

The researchers concluded that for juveniles who are "on the margin of incarceration," the potential societal benefits of juvenile incarceration are greatly outweighed by the outcomes explained above. Therefore, the system is in need of reform.

As you can see, juvenile incarceration can have lasting effects on a young person's life, not just because of the criminal record they could have to deal with for years to come, but also because of the way it tends to derail a young person's life.

For that reason, it's extremely important to take juvenile delinquency charges very seriously and find an experienced criminal defense attorney who can stand up for your child's future.

Source: Journalist's Resource, "Juvenile incarceration and its impact on high school graduation rates and adult jail time," Feb. 4, 2015

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