On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Drug Crimes on Friday, August 11, 2017.
A blank slate.
If you’re the parent of a juvenile — say, a young teen — in St. Louis or elsewhere in Missouri, you might intuitively and immediately understand that depiction of a comparatively younger person who is not yet an adult.
And that is the key disclaimer — not yet an adult.
That is a fundamental distinction accorded juvenile offenders who find themselves interacting officially with authorities in the criminal justice system. Judges, attorneys, police officers, psychologists and counselors and additional parties who work with children know that they are just that — children.
In a broad sense, that centrally applies to that the above-cited slate. It truly is blank, with future experiences waiting to be imprinted upon it.
With young people, it is simply a logical point to note that they have only partially informed judgment concerning many things, because they just don’t command the life experience that is necessary to hone their thinking.
As we note on a page of our criminal law website at Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry addressing the criminal justice system and juvenile offenders, “A big part of growing up is about trial and error and learning from those experiences.”
And that reality is why it is widely accepted in the justice realm that young people should be treated somewhat differently from older adults regarding their alleged involvement in criminal activity, in most instances.
Put another way: Juveniles often commit criminal acts because they are rash and immature, not because they have any premeditated and deliberate intent to break the law.
In many instances, they are better served by an official response geared more toward rehabilitation than on punishment and retribution.
We understand that intimately at our law firm, with our attorneys routinely advocating on behalf of young people who we believe are optimally responded to by outcomes that focus on learning and education rather than by harsh punitive outcomes that can forestall future growth and potential.
Everyone makes mistakes when they are young. In most instances, the importance of getting a second chance in the wake of a serious error cannot be overstated for an offender, his or her family members and the general public.