I was just having a conversation with someone about how I think there ought to be a prayer for judgement or youthful stupidity rule for first time offenders for minor crimes where there was no chance of someone else getting hurt or killed. I mean crimes like shoplifting, underage drinking, and minor drug possession. I have a relative who is 18 years old, and she hooked up with the wrong boy, and her parents found out he's either doing drugs or dealing them. She drove him around a lot...what if they were stopped and drugs were found in her car? She'd probably be going to prison (unlike most celebrities). But she's a good student, no evidence that she was headed down a path to crime (no history of misdemeanors or anything), so why ruin her life with a record?
There are just certain youthful stupidity crimes that a lot of us commit. I'm not talking about DUI because everyone should know better, or assault or rape, or anything where someone could get hurt. But minor crimes like shoplifting? Scare the shit out of the kid. Tell them this was their one chance and if they screw up again it will be considered for their sentence. But don't ruin someone's life for one minor infraction. That's the way I feel. And if they're going to prison and getting raped too, that makes it horrific.