Unjust arrests and convictions threaten your community. This is even more true when children are the targets.
Your children are your future, and convictions adversely affect many different types of opportunities. Please do not let them fall victim to people who do not care about their rights.
Communities over prisons
Until recently, Arkansas had an extremely high population in juvenile detention centers. The ACLU of Arkansas reports that the child populations of state-run juvenile facilities dropped by one third in just three years.
The legislature is moving in the right direction, but that does not mean police and prosecutors act fairly in every situation. They might overstate their case or pursue a harsh sentence, just because they believe they can. If there is any chance that you could avoid or diminish these consequences, your child deserves to stay in your community — not go to prison.
Whether your child faces accusations of drug crimes, violent crimes or any other serious allegation, chances are that prison would not help. Your community is the best place for support, healing and positive opportunities.
Proof over action
Criminal law is not about how guilty a prosecutor or policeman thinks your child is. The criminal system is about rights. If someone had the legal right to act in a certain way, then that action does not constitute a criminal offense.
To put it another way, the prosecution must prove criminal action. If this is impossible to accomplish — if, for any reason, the prosecuting attorney cannot win the case — then a court should not find your child guilty. In terms of conviction, nothing else matters.
Proof could potentially come in many forms. For example, statements you or your child make — online, to police, to friends and so on — could strengthen the prosecution’s case against you. Please strive to understand the whole situation before taking any type of action.