Childhood Trauma and Crime

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Apr 20, 2023 | 0 Comments

As parents, we all do our best to keep our children safe, ensure they have the food, shelter, and clothing they need, and love them. But not every child is born into an ideal situation. Sometimes we can't protect them from trauma that can cause emotional harm, despite our best efforts.

If you have a child facing criminal charges as a juvenile or a first-time offender, it can be terrifying to think that childhood trauma may have brought this on. But it's important to remember that your child is innocent until proven guilty and is entitled to the best possible defense. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the experienced Criminal Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm can help.

Childhood Trauma and Crime

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, juveniles commit about ten percent of violent crime in the U.S. each year, with 75% of those committed by teens between 15 to 18. According to research, “adverse childhood experiences,” or childhood trauma, can lead to crime among troubled youth. The Substances Abuse and Mental Health Administration describes “adverse childhood experiences” (ACE) as:

Stressful or traumatic events, including abuse and neglect. They may also involve household dysfunction, such as witnessing domestic violence or growing up with family members who have substance use disorders. ACEs are strongly related to the development and prevalence of a wide range of health problems throughout a person's lifespan, including those associated with substance misuse.

However, the FBI prefers to focus on a broader definition of ACE beyond abuse, neglect, and substance abuse. They've identified some of the most common ACE that can result in troubled teens and young adults, including:

  • Physical or mental abuse,
  • Household mental illness or substance abuse,
  • Violence toward a mother,
  • Sexual abuse,
  • Discrimination,
  • Unsafe neighborhood,
  • Witnessing violence,
  • Racism, and
  • Poverty.

These experiences, some of which families can't entirely control, can have a real hand in shaping children negatively. Studies have shown a direct correlation between mental and physical abuse well into adulthood. But research also reveals that witnessing violence impacts two out of every three kids in the U.S. Up to 90% of juvenile offenders have experienced childhood trauma, and up to 30% of “justice-involved American youth […] meet the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder due to trauma experienced during childhood.”

Hire Attorney Joseph D. Lento

If your child is facing a juvenile or a first-time criminal charge, it's important to ensure they get the legal help they need to protect their future. Incarceration can exacerbate childhood trauma, preventing them from acquiring the necessary life skills and continuing a pointless cycle. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the experienced Criminal Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm can help. They've been helping kids and young adults through the criminal justice system for years, protecting their rights. Find out how they can help you too. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or contact them online to schedule a consultation.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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