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Juveniles need help, not more problems

It is often said that juveniles who enter into the juvenile justice system are actually crying out for help. Getting this help should be a goal of the juvenile justice system, but some youthful offenders might not see it that way. The fact remains that it can be difficult for the current system to come up with suitable answers to all of the issues that lead kids to get introduced into the system in the first place.

The individual but vast differences between juveniles mean that what works for one juvenile might not work for another one even if both are charged with similar offenses. It is important to look at the underlying causes that can signal a juvenile in crisis. This might be a drug addiction or the gang life. If the underlying cause of the juvenile's issues can be addressed, there is a better chance that the rehabilitation will be successful.

The juvenile justice system has a host of programs and possible solutions that it can use in these cases. Judges often have to guess which options will work best for which child. Often, the solution is a piecemeal effort to help the child through several programs or services that are available.

In some cases, the juvenile justice system relies on the community to help these misguided youths. Churches, community organizations and other groups might be able to provide activities that can help these at-rislkjuveniles to stay out of the streets.

It is important that juveniles who are facing the court system have their rights respected, as they are often scared and clueless about the workings of the criminal justice system. Parents should ensure these juveniles are competently represented by legal counsel so they can get the help they truly need.

Source: PBS, "What works?," Kurt Kumli, accessed Aug. 18, 2016

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Fairfax, VA 22030
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