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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 12/08/08

What should I do if my teenager is arrested?

Every day, hundreds of kids between the ages of seven and seventeen walk through the doors of juvenile court. Some of the most common reasons for arrest are traffic offences, truancy, disorderly conduct, theft, assault, and more. A child’s arrest is a wakeup call to both the child and the child’s parents. An arrest is serious; it stays on the child’s record and can prevent him from getting a job in the future. Although the parents of an arrested child may wish to discipline their child immediately, it is usually better to wait until the crisis ends. A child who is arrested or is going through the juvenile court process needs the support of parents to guide him through this trying period. When the situation has ended or is more stabilized, parents may wish to evaluate the discipline of the home and make changes if necessary.

In the Jewish Community

Although the Jewish community is known for its emphasis on peace and order, no community is perfect. Many teenagers in the Jewish community are falling through the cracks and finding themselves in trouble with the law. Although it might seem easier to ignore the problem or look the other way, that will only increase its long-term effects. Parents should communicate with their children about the dangers of illegal activities before they decide to experiment with them. Additionally, parents should serve as proper role models. A child may be more inclined to commit crimes if he witnesses his parents evading taxes or exhibiting other dishonest behaviors.

Use the following links to educate yourself about juvenile court. Learn why some kids are arrested and what to do if your child is arrested. Find out where to get help for yourself and for your child.

Frequently Asked Links

Why do some kids get arrested?

What should I do if my teenager is arrested? more more more

What can I do to help my child who has been arrested?

What is juvenile court?

How does the juvenile justice system work? more

What are the parent’s and the child’s legal rights in juvenile court?

Where can I find more information about arrest and juvenile court?

Does my child need to have an attorney in juvenile court?

Can a child be tried as an adult?

Do religious Jewish children ever get arrested?

By Rabbi Yonasan Rosenblum

Why is awareness of problems in the Jewish community so important?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Related Articles

Disciplining Your Child
It is important to be consistent about discipline. If you do not stick to the rules and consequences, kids are not likely to either. Find out how to vary your approach to fit your family.

What Can I Do to Stop My Child From Shoplifting?

My 16-year-old daughter was caught shoplifting recently, and I am both devastated and worried about her. What should I do?


Shoplifting can be a lot more serious than people realize. Read this article to understand more about it and how to help yourself or a friend to stop.


Family and Corrections Network
FCN offers information and assistance to families of prisoners and tracks the impact of the justice system on the family.

Administration of Children, Youth & Families
This division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services administers the federal programs for child-focused social services; protective services and shelter for children and youth in at-risk situations; child care for working families and families on public assistance; and adoption for children with special needs.

The Children's Defense Fund
Nonprofit organization CDF offers programs and lobbying on children's issues including juvenile justice.

Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice
The CJCJ promotes "balanced and humane criminal justice policies that reduce incarceration and promote long-term public safety" by developing community, policy and education programs.

American Civil Liberties Union: Criminal Justice: Juvenile Justice
The ACLU tracks juvenile justice trends and provides information and support for juveniles and the families of juveniles whose rights have been violated.

U.S. Department of Justice
The DOJ site includes statistics concerning youth crime and incarceration, as well as criminal enforcement and prevention measures.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
The OJJDP sponsors research and policy initiatives to guide federal juvenile justice issues and provides information about juvenile justice issues.

National Council on Crime and Delinquency
The NCCD promotes "effective, humane, fair and economically sound solutions to family, community and justice problems" and works with institutions and individuals to improve the justice system.

The National Center on Education, Disability, and Juvenile Justice
EDJJ provides assistance and research in support of delinquency prevention, education for incarcerated youth and transition services for children returning to the community.

Rabbi Horowitz does not endorse any external sites or monitor or approve content on these sites. When considering information presented here, you should consult your experts to determine what is best for you. Our sole purpose is to help you access information that Rabbi Horowitz and others have made available on the internet.


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