Young adults are capable of causing both relatively trivial and very serious harm. They are also, as we continue to learn, uncommonly capable of change.
Our challenge, then, is to identify strategies that increase the likelihood of positive transformation. Much of the recent research on adolescent development, particularly from developmental psychology and brain science, has led to calls for mercy for young adults who cause harm.
However, I believe that this research calls not only for mercy, but serious, functional, and dignified accountability.
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