January 21, 2020 Juvenile Justice

When Parents Are Not Enough: The Case for Counsel in Juvenile Interrogations

Laura Cohen

It is every parent’s nightmare. A call from the police, politely yet tersely stating that a child is in custody and “suggesting” that the parent come down to the stationhouse. Questions, disbelief, and confusion flood the parent’s mind as he or she rushes to the precinct. The sight of the child seated at a table, guarded by police officers and, perhaps, in handcuffs, unleashes a torrent of emotions. Love, anger, shame, and fear trigger primal parenting instincts: the parent wants and needs to protect the child and, at the same time, teach the child to tell the truth, take responsibility for his or her mistakes, and respect authority.

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