The Logistical and Ethical Difficulties of Informing Juveniles About the Collateral Consequences of Adjudications
17 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2007
In this article, Professor Michael Pinard observes that the recent attention devoted to the collateral consequences of criminal convictions has overlooked the ways in which these consequences impact juvenile offenders. The article recognizes the emergent arguments for informing adult defendants of these consequences as part of the guilty plea or sentencing process, and argues that juvenile defendants should also be informed of the collateral consequences that attach to their adjudications. However, the article asserts that there are ethical and logistical questions unique to the juvenile justice process that would pose difficulties in conveying this information to juveniles. These issues (or questions) include the extent to which juveniles could be expect to understand the long-term effects of these consequences, as well as the extent to which families should be involved in assessing plea bargains and other strategies in light of these consequences, some of which would possibly disrupt familial relationships. The article calls for detailed examination and analyses of these complex issues, particularly within the context of our client-focused representational system.
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