So often it seems that young people do not think beyond their immediate future. In the case of criminal behavior this can leave them with consequences that they did not think about. When sentencing a young person, should this be kept in mind, perhaps clearing their records when they are adults, so it would not follow them throughout the rest of their lives. Or would this be giving them a free pass to break the law again and again, knowing that they could “straighten up” once they become an adult?
There are ways to help youth to not have to face the future with actions of their past. To assist these youth in troubled times, The Centre for Research on Youth at Riskcolence in the family, childhood trauma, amount of parental supervision and discipline, family alcoholism or drug usage, truancy in school or other issues at school, and living in poverty. A youth that has one or more of these issues is not doomed to have a future of criminal activity, those surrounding them just need to be aware of these issues so intervention may be put in place.
If at-risk young people, or those that have already displayed criminal intent, are given life-skills, their past should not be such an issue. They need to acquire skills in problem-solving and communication as well as social skills. These youth need to be taught how become resilient and shown how to belong, whether to a work place, a family or an organization. They need to be shown how to have positive peers as well as access to supportive adults. Another skill they need to acquire from their family is appropriate discipline, how to set limits and be shown a positive family structure. From within, they need to learn how to build their self-esteem and how to handle success.
When placed in a juvenile detention center, these young people are to be protected, by law, so that they may be rehabilitated and receive any treatment they may need. This is so that when they are released, they are prepared to face life in society, with the skills listed above, so they can lead a successful life without worrying about their past actions.
If a young person is able to acquire these skills, then their past should be able to stay in the past. If these lessons are not taken to heart, the future of the youth may be a sad and difficult one.