Juvenile delinquency is a big problem in our country. Governments at all levels are doing what they can to do something about it, but it’s a very difficult task. In recent times there has been a bit of a shift in attitudes towards juvenile offenders. Whereas in the past there was a tendency to look at the issue simply as “bad children doing bad things” to also considering the vulnerability of children. This includes acknowledging that while they may be perpetrators of crime, they can still also be victims of crime, and frequently their perpetration is linked to their vulnerability.

There are many different contributors to juvenile crime. Most children aren’t born criminals, they become that way due to a lot of different environmental circumstances. When these circumstances may tend to diminish the potential culpability of an offender, lawyers call these “mitigating circumstances”, and they are a very important consideration in any court trial or hearing, and most especially in juvenile cases where mitigating circumstances are likely to be given more focused attention.

According to Oceanside juvenile delinquency defense lawyers Fischer & Van Thiel, children often end up being further victimized by the justice system, and they’re often thrown to the wolves when they’re at their most vulnerable. The intention may be to scare kids straight, but in truth that rarely happens. It often sets them on a highly destructive path.

As a really good example which many Californians can relate to, Charles Manson spent a considerable portion of his childhood in juvenile detention (“juvie”). Researching into his background, it becomes very apparent that if the problems that existed in his family life had been identified and properly addressed, everything would have been different.

All of the terrible tragedies that subsequently happened can be squarely blamed on one single decision: when Manson’s mother attempted to have him placed into foster care, the court instead sent him to Gibault School for Boys in Terre Haute. This is the same institution which also for a time housed serial killer William Heirens. You could put that down to coincidence, but it does seem a little strange that two notorious otherwise unrelated homicidal criminals hatched in the same nest.

Anyway, the clear takeaway point from these tragedies is that you need to do whatever it takes to keep your kids out of juvie. Once they go in, the chance of them coming out as a more hardened criminal with serious emotional disturbances is really high. Things happen in juvie that you probably wouldn’t want to think about. Don’t let your kids go there.

The importance of a good lawyer who has the right attitude with regards to the situation your child has ended up in cannot be overstated. It is crucial to have an attorney who understands the cause-and-effect nature of juvenile delinquency. Somebody who will fight to keep your kids out of detention because they know what is at stake, and a lawyer who knows how to get the court thinking of the child as a victim, not just a perpetrator.