Friday, July 15, 2022

There Are Natural Consequences

7/14/22 New York Times:
"When her final stint on probation ended last year and her juvenile record was sealed because she had turned 18, “It was like a whole chapter of my life that had been closed,” Ms. Guevara said in an interview. “I was free.”

But before long she began receiving monthly reminders that she was anything but. Bills totaling $60,000 in restitution owed for her crimes began pouring in, drowning the teenager in debt just as she had started trying to get back on her feet.

Ms. Guevara, now 19, is one of thousands of teenagers and young adults across the country paying restitution imposed by juvenile courts to compensate their victims for losses and damages related to their crimes. But a new report examining the practice asserts that many are paying into a broken system — one that often derails the lives of the young offenders the juvenile system was created to rehabilitate, all the while delaying or even denying compensation to their victims."

If victims are not receiving compensation I am concerned.   But reparative Justice is both moral and should be a message to young people that robbery, burglary, and fraud will make your life really, really hard.

If a victim decides to show mercy, that could be a wonderful learning experience for a young person trying to turn their life around.   But watching a relative or friend struggling for years because they injured someone may be a learning experience as well.

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