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Understanding collateral consequences of youth incarceration

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2024 | Juvenile Offenses |

The young adult years can be trying times for families and their offspring. Young people often make mistakes, and some of them can result in criminal charges.

Should a young person’s bad decisions as a teenager result in lifelong, adverse consequences? Some people believe that better alternatives exist to course-correct than incarcerating young people and effectively throwing away the key for decades.

Understand the immediate and long-term consequences

If you and your family receive public benefits or live in Section 8 housing, your child could be taken off your benefits and be denied the right to live in the home with their family post-conviction. They could also lose their driver’s licenses, depending on the charges. Also, they could face fines that could cripple them financially.

Long-term effects are just as devastating — if not more. Having a criminal record closes many future doors. Certain career options could forever be denied to them, and their economic mobility could be stunted.

If the young person winds up serving time after a conviction, they could see people they love and respect drop out of their support network. This can compile the trauma they already face from their conviction.

Families can provide critical support to arrested teens

Understandably, parents and other family members are disappointed when a teen gets arrested. Depending on the charges, the young person’s actions can go against everything they have ever been taught at home, school, church and in the community at large. 

But now is the time when a teen most needs the love and support of their family. Learning more about how to better support your teen at this critical time can have a positive effect on their lives at such a critical juncture.

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