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Student charges: What is the aim of juvenile justice in Virginia?

Any person under the age of 18 is regarded as a juvenile under Virginia law. Those facing student charges may be concerned about the consequences, and understanding the juvenile justice system might help. This is a system that has a separate set of procedures and laws that govern the treatment of juveniles who have made some missteps.

Authorities believe that the level of responsibility some juveniles have is different from adults, and for that reason, the law treats them differently. Furthermore, young offenders have more potential for rehabilitation than older individuals. Based on those facts, the justice system emphasizes rehabilitation rather than punishment when it comes to juveniles.

This is, of course, without losing sight of protecting public safety, and juvenile offenders are held accountable, but more positively. Rehabilitation aims to utilize education and therapy to bring about the restoration of useful lives of youths. One method is to have young offenders take part in counseling or programs that will equip them with the skills of responsible decision making in the future.

The Virginia Juvenile Justice system's collaborators include officers in law enforcement, providers of mental health services, social services and schools along with other agencies. The goal is to meet all the needs of not only juvenile offenders but also their families and the communities in which they live. Any youngsters who are facing student charges may seek the counsel of a defense attorney who is experienced in the field of juvenile justice. A lawyer can answer all questions and work on achieving an outcome with the minimum negative consequences.

Source: virginiarules.com, "Introduction to Juvenile Justice in Virginia", Sept. 6, 2017

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