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Alternatives to Incarceration for Juveniles

Alternatives to Incarceration for Juveniles

Breaking the Cycle and Building Futures with our Juvenile Defense Attorney

If your child or a juvenile you care about is facing criminal charges, this is an important time to speak with an experienced Virginia Beach juvenile defense attorney. Juvenile crimes have serious consequences, including transfer to adult court, and juvenile detention.

Consideration of Effective Alternatives to Incarceration

Incarceration can have a lasting negative impact on a young person's life. It disrupts education, hinders positive social development, and can increase the likelihood of future criminal activity.  Alternatives provide opportunities for juveniles to learn from their mistakes, make amends, and become productive members of society.

Often, the difference between jail time and being allowed to stay at home and in school is based on early intervention with the police, the prosecutors and the school system. For example, in some cases an attorney experienced with juvenile crime can work out an agreement with the victim before formal charges are filed. In other cases, proactively working with the prosecutor can result in charges being set aside based on certain actions and activities by the juvenile, the family and school system.

While incarceration may seem like the only option for juvenile crimes, there are effective alternatives that focus on rehabilitation and reducing recidivism. This guide explores these alternatives and the importance of seeking legal counsel from a qualified juvenile defense attorney.

What Are Alternatives to Jail for Juvenile Offenders?

If charges are brought and the juvenile is convicted, there are still alternatives, including: 

  • Pre-Trial Diversion Programs: These programs divert youth from the formal court system, allowing them to complete programs like community service, substance abuse counseling, or anger management, while potentially avoiding court appearances and criminal records.
  • Restorative Justice Programs: These programs focus on repairing the harm caused by the crime. They may involve mediation between the offender, the victim, and the community, allowing the youth to take responsibility and the victim to have a voice in the resolution.
  • Probation: Supervised probation allows juveniles to remain at home and in school while adhering to specific court-ordered conditions, such as counseling, curfews, and community service.
  • Alternative Education Programs: These programs provide structured learning environments outside of traditional schools, catering to students who may have struggled in mainstream settings due to behavioral issues or learning difficulties.
  • Community-Based Programs: These programs offer a range of services, including mentoring, mental health counseling, job training, and substance abuse treatment, addressing the underlying causes of criminal behavior and fostering positive change.
  • Residential Treatment Centers: For juveniles with severe behavioral problems or mental health needs, residential treatment centers provide intensive therapy and support in a safe and controlled environment.

The Importance of a Juvenile Defense Attorney

You want to get a lawyer involved as soon as possible. This is the time to engage an attorney who has significant experience with defending juvenile crimes and knows the ins-and-outs of the system, and what alternatives are available. Juvenile defense is a niche area of the law. Our Virginia Beach juvenile defense attorney can be instrumental in navigating the legal system and exploring all available alternatives to incarceration.

Here's how we can help:

  • Early Intervention: An attorney can intervene at the earliest stages, potentially working out agreements with victims or prosecutors to avoid formal charges.
  • Negotiation: They can negotiate for better plea deals that minimize consequences and prioritize rehabilitation programs.
  • Understanding the System: Attorneys understand the juvenile justice system and can advise on the most appropriate alternatives for your child's specific situation.
  • Protecting Your Child's Future: By securing alternatives to incarceration, an attorney can help prevent a criminal record that could hinder your child's future education, employment, and housing opportunities.

Don’t put your child’s future at risk. Contact Virginia Beach juvenile defense attorney Jerrell R. Johnson at JRLaw, PLC and get an experienced lawyer on your side as soon as possible. The call is free, (757) 447-0080. We accept cases throughout Virginia Beach, including Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, and Norfolk.

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  • His representation kept an unfortunate incident from defining her future. He was able to put us at ease from the first contact, and he gave her the support she (and our family) needed to get through a very difficult time.
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  • From first contact, he was attentive, communicative, and beyond fair with his fees. Being a former police officer in Virginia Beach made him aware, prior to court, of what needed to be done for our time in court. That prior experience was also completely
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    • Caroline County: Reckless Driving Speed 20mph over
    • Chesapeake Circuit Court: Domestic Assault & Failure To Appear
    • Chesapeake Juvenile: Detention Hearing (Bond Hearing)
    • Chesapeake Juvenile: Felony Robbery
    • Chesapeake: Evading Traffic Device