Dealing with a troubled teen who’s going around with a bad crowd is very difficult. His choice of friends could get him into a lot of trouble. Peer pressure alone could make him do things that he normally would not do. There is the need to belong to the group, and unfortunately, he will do things to belong. One of the ways to show this is by doing something illegal such as shoplifting, taking drugs, selling drugs, etc.
In the unfortunate incident that your troubled teen was caught in the act and he was detained in jail, what will you do?
If he committed a minor crime and if this is his first offense, the judge may release your son out on bail. You only have to pay the total bail amount, and in just a short while, he will be released from prison. It is your duty as a parent to make sure that he shows up at all the appointed court dates. If he fails to appear before the judge, his penalties could increase. Depending upon the crime, your son could end up spending time in juvenile detention.
The bail amount depends upon the crime and the severity of what he did. If you don’t have enough cash to post bail, then you can seek the help of a bail bondsman. He’ll pay for the total bail amount and help you get your son out of jail.
The question is, should you bail your child out?
Positive Outcomes of Letting Him Spend the Night in Jail
Letting him spend the night in jail before you bail him out may have some positive outcomes.
For one, the time spent in the holding cell can serve as his wakeup call. It’ll allow him to take a good look at what he’s done and think of the possible consequences of spending more time in jail. Spending the night in the holding cell will also give him the opportunity to reassess his priorities. The prison cell will be a harsh reality of what he will have to face in the future should he continue with his destructive ways. This is something that he would not be able to do should you bail him out.
Two, spending the night in the holding cell will make him realize the importance of freedom. Yes, he got away with his petty crimes before and didn’t have to suffer any legal consequences. However, now that he’s been caught and held in prison, he’ll be able to appreciate the freedom he’s lost for the time being. Losing his freedom, however short it may be, will make him want and protect it all the more, and one way of protecting his freedom is stopping all his illegal activities and starting to follow the rules.
In the end, a night in jail may help him see his errors and strive to correct them before he gets into more trouble. But once he gets out though, be sure to make him understand your decision and why you need to do it. Talk to him, treat him like an adult, and work together to solve the problem.
Jennifer Dallas writes for a bail bonds agency. Through this article, she hopes to help parents who are dealing with troubled teens and are torn between letting their child spend a night in jail or not.