Neil S. Ruskin

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Flipping the script on law enforcement

Reform. Rehabilitation. Reprimand. When you behave criminally and are convicted, you are held accountable by the justice system, and you pay your dues. At least that is the general idea. But what happens when the true criminal activity is not that which is committed by the convicted, it is instead what is done to the convicted during the punishment phase?

Disturbing examples of what can happen to incarcerated individuals are legion in the juvenile justice system; criminal acts are being committed against youths who are receiving punishment. Reports of sexual and physical abuse abound and are subjects of state and federal investigations, some facilities being shut down as a result.

Fortunately, in New York, some minds have been opened to the concept that convicted persons may be better served, as would society, by less stringent incarceration and better rehabilitative alternatives.

In fact, local officials have been able to succeed in receiving the authority and resources from state leaders to create justice programs that are locally operated and offered to juveniles in lieu of state prisons for youths. Youths in the Bronx are now provided an alternative to youth prisons in rural towns. They are instead offered case management and community-based mentoring.

If your child has been charged with a driving-related crime, they certainly are not alone. Juveniles are new to certain freedoms and to driving. With those freedoms comes a hope for responsibility that isn't always upheld in young adults, making driving-related crimes an understandable and unfortunate incident.

But your child has rights, and if he or she is facing serious charges such as vehicular homicide or vehicular assault you may wish to contact an experienced criminal law attorney to protect those rights. The attorney could work in an effort to minimize your child's penalties and get him or her the best possible legal outcome.

Source: QZ.com, "THE KIDS AREN'T ALL RIGHT," Liz Ryan, Aug 31, 2016

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