Coen is a 4 year old boy, of Aboriginal descent. He is raised by a single Mother, who has a substance abuse problem. Coen lives in an extremely poor neighbourhood, with a high levels of crime, and a disproportionate number of single parent dwellings (1).
Long Term Impacts
Coen's Mother has a part-time job and receives Centrelink payments. While low, the family income is adequate to provide for the family. Coen's Mother uses this income to support her substance abuse problem. As a result, Coen is often left without food, or suitable clothing. In addition, Coen's Muother offers no emotional warmth, comfort, or support. (2)
As Coen enters lower education, he struggles academically, and displays depressive symptoms, including poor self esteem. Socially, Coen is easily led, often resulting in poor choices. Coen has a tendency to react physically, and without thinking, in times of conflict. (3; 4)
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Coen's academic struggles continue throughout adolescence. At 12, he begins experimenting with alcohol, later developing a substance abuse problem. Coen struggles to adapt socially. He is increasingly impulsive, with risky sexual behaviour, and violent tendencies. Coen lives with depression, and has made several suicide attempts (5; 6).
Coen enters the Juvenile Justice System at 14, for the theft of alcohol from a liquor store. This is followed by multiple minor crimes throughout adolescence. Coen's criminal behaviour continues to escalate, and at 24, he is charged with Aggravated Assault, Occasioning Bodily Harm, following a violent pub fight while intoxicated. Coen is currently serving 6 years in prison. (7)