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You can fight for an alternative to your child's incarceration

You received a call in the middle of the night that your son had been arrested for breaking into a local business. You were shocked to say the least. Now, you know he's facing harsh penalties for what he's done.

You have been talking to your attorney, but you still aren't sure what can be done to prevent your child from going to prison. Your son made a bad decision, but he's not a person who would normally participate in this kind of behavior. You think there are better alternatives.

Others in the United States think the same as you, like the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU supports alternative sentencing for juveniles because current outcomes of placing juveniles in detention are poor. Many suffer lifelong consequences from being cut off from their families and experiencing further violence and trauma in the juvenile facilities.

There are many different alternatives to incarceration, fortunately. One type that works well is a community-based alternative. This path requires your child to help the community in some way to make up for the damage that has been done. Additionally, the programs focus on helping your child through whatever underlying issues led to the criminal act to begin with.

Another popular alternative for children suffering with mental health or substance abuse issues is to send them to an inpatient program to treat those addictions or mental health concerns. Whether it's alcohol abuse, bipolar disorder, drug use or other mental health concerns, helping a young adult or child deal with the issues is more beneficial than placing the individual in a jail cell. Without treatment, these conditions can lead to further incarceration down the line.

There are also alternatives such as completing hours of community service along with paying a fine to the victim and courts. Community service comes in a number of forms from completing community outreach programs to cleaning up the highways and local parks, and even talking about his mistakes to others to help them avoid the same mistakes.

Your attorney can help you understand if the court would consider an alternative penalty for the crime your child has committed. With good support and a strong defense, you can help you child move past this mistake in judgment.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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