There is a correlation between your child’s education and his or her involvement in the Michigan juvenile justice system. In other words, involvement in the juvenile justice system may hurt your child’s educational prospects, both now and in the future. Not only that, but when your child struggles with his or her education, he or she may be more likely to commit acts that may involve him or her in the juvenile justice system. 

A correlation is not necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, it is not always clear whether poor educational outcomes result from involvement in the system or vice versa. However, youth in the juvenile justice system do tend to have certain education-related characteristics in common. 

Suspension or expulsion 

Serious behavioral misconduct or delinquency may result in the school suspending or expelling your child. The difference between the two is that suspension is temporary, while expulsion is permanent. More than half of the youth in the system entered placement after a suspension from school in the same year. 

Truancy 

Truancy refers to persistent unexcused absences from classes. Schools often refer truancy cases to the juvenile court system because truancy is a noncriminal violation of the law. 

Special education needs 

Despite laws requiring schools to make educational accommodations for students with special needs, success in school may be a struggle for students with disabilities. Studies have discovered an overrepresentation of students with special education needs in the juvenile justice system. However, certain impairments tend to show up more often in juvenile courts than others, particularly learning disabilities and emotional-behavioral disorders. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.