If you are a parent or a guardian of a child accused of a crime, you may have concerns about the consequences of an arrest and the impact on your child’s future.
Fortunately for juvenile offenders, the Missouri justice system for minors prioritizes rehabilitation rather than punishment. Learning about Missouri juvenile justice laws may enable you to consider options for providing the best course of action for your child.
Missouri law recognizes that immaturity and poor judgment can significantly contribute to juvenile crime. Examples of offenses can include:
- Underage drinking
- Drug charges
- Traffic violations
- Theft and burglary
- Weapon charges
The “Missouri Miracle”
The state of Missouri has created an innovative juvenile justice system over the last thirty years. The juvenile court system is often called the “Missouri Miracle.” Practices that contribute to the success of the Missouri model include:
- Small facilities which do not resemble jails
- Locations throughout the state that enable young people to be close to their homes
- Trained and educated staff that work with small groups of youths
- Treatment conducted with respect and dignity
- Rehabilitation and therapy that teach young people the necessary skills to make positive, long-term changes in their behavior
In Missouri, your child’s criminal case may have the best possible opportunity for fair and compassionate handling and follow-up. Missouri laws and the Division of Youth Services, which “utilize a therapeutic youth development approach focused on prevention,” may offer you, your child and your family hope for a new beginning.