A juvenile is a child who is under the age of 18. When a juvenile has broken the law, you may think that they will face some of the penalties that an adult does in the same situation, but this is not the case. In fact, you may find that Juvenile Court can be a little bit more lenient than adult court, but typically not by much. Jail and prison sentences for certain crimes do not usually apply to a minor under any circumstances. However, the court still holds the juvenile’s life in their hands, able to make decisions over their life and what will happen next.
California is a lot like many other states when it comes to what is done with youth offenders. For instance, the state allows offenders as young as 14 with minor or major crimes to be transferred from the juvenile system to adult courts. However, it can spell out bad news if a child is tried as an adult in any situation. Many of these children will be sentenced to life in adult institutions for the heinous crimes they committed before they even hit their late teens – and the prisons they will be in will be Level 4 maximum-security prisons with histories of being very violent.
California, like many states, thinks that children under the age of 18 are immature, irresponsible, susceptible to peer pressure, and can change if you give them the time and proper rehabilitation. This shows itself in the 2005 banning by Supreme Court of death penalties for juvenile offenders.
What Can Incarceration Mean For Juvenile Offenders?
Incarceration usually does not work out well when mixed with juvenile offenders who still have growing and susceptible minds. This means that they will also be more susceptible to negative influences than adults. These very lengthy sentences mean that a number of things can take toll on the child’s mind – for instance, they may want to seek protection and try to fit into new groups of people that they come into contact with in the new facility they know as their prison home. They may feel the need to be involved with gangs and use weapons, and how does this transfer when the children are put out into the streets in the future to pave a life for themselves under good influence and positive thinking? Many people think that rehabilitation is not an option for children who have been arrested and charged with a crime. Rehabilitation will keep so many juvenile offenders from going down the wrong path as well as giving them an environment in which to educate them and lead them to a more positive transformation.
What Exactly Does the Youthful Offender Program do?
The Youthful Offender Program (YOP) is aimed to divert young offenders away from high-security prison yards. It was established through an Assembly Bill under California Penal Code to review cases of youth transferring to the adult system and place he or she in a lower-security prison yard based on the youth’s merit. What is the goal in mind? To keep youth away from more serious and violent criminal influences found at high-security level prisons. Those who qualify will be exposed to many different things including better access to rehabilitative programs and a better environment to succeed in and outside prison walls.
Many youth people have gone through the process of involving themselves in the YOP program and workshops. They realize that it is a beginning of a better life for them and a way to engage themselves in useful activity and conversation. They are looking to help others get back on their feet and work toward the goals they have in mind instead of looking at prison walls and never gaining the rehabilitation they so need.
Have you been convicted of a crime and wonder what your options are? There are many options made available to juvenile offenders. However, it all starts with you and the choices you make to seek a better lifestyle. You can get legal representation at The Law Office of Peter Blair, where there is a trustworthy attorney waiting to work on your side. Find out what steps you can take today!