Many young people who have been arrested may struggle in other parts of their lives. An arrest might just set them further down the path toward more interactions with the criminal justice system, perpetuating a vicious cycle. However, those who work on intervention programs here in North Carolina say that increasing these operations can break that cycle, often helping young people avoid the future need for juvenile defense.
Intervention may be the cure
Police say that it is concerning that violent incidents involving young people seem to be increasing. The state recently changed the law so that juveniles aged 16 and 17 would not automatically be charged as adults, but those involved in intervention programs say this isn’t enough. They want to see increased funding for programs that target this specific age group.
They are hoping the programs may offer vocational training as many of the participants have often dropped out of school. Advocates also say that many of these teens need access to safe housing, as many of the teens are out on the streets. Both of these issues may correlate to an increased chance of reoffending, but involvement in the programs may offer them a way out. The programs can offer practical skills as well as ones suited to better communication.
Young people need someone in their corner
While participation in these types of programs is desirable, they may not be available to every young person. What is also important is that these young people have someone on their side who knows the law and the impacts of conviction when one is just a teen. Here in North Carolina, an attorney with significant experience in juvenile defense cases could be just that advocate. It may be a teen’s best chance at mitigating any potential negative impacts of an arrest.