Juvenile crimes: Leaders come together for reform

Youth and rebellious behavior go together like socks and shoes. The majority of adolescents will rebel at some point and participate in activities that are not always legal, oftentimes out of boredom. Unfortunately, one bad decision can potentially ruin the entire life of a juvenile. Those who are charged with juvenile crimes in Illinois can have their futures stripped from them.

Recently, nearly 100 youth advocates came together for a first-of-its-kind event known as the First Circuit Juvenile Justice Council Symposium. The focus of the symposium is for leaders to learn how to rehabilitate juveniles who have been in the court system, and also how to prevent youth from entering the justice system. The attendees included attorneys, counselors, judges and probation workers.

One attendee said he sees juvenile cases daily, and the problems usually begin in the home. He stressed that the community must work together to tackle these issues before its too late. A judge who attended the symposium said her goal is to rehabilitate juvenile offenders so that they can be placed back into the community and become outstanding citizens. She noted that people deserve second chances, and supporting youth resources will make a positive impact.

According to recent statistics, about 17 percent of all arrests made in the United States are juveniles. Fortunately, the state of Illinois is at the forefront of youth justice reform. Those who have been charged with juvenile crimes in Illinois always reserve the right to seek legal counsel. An experienced litigator can ensure the protection of personal rights and determine the best strategy possible for juveniles who have been charged with crimes.