If he is convicted, being he is so young, he will likely have therapy and other resources offered to him.
That's a common assumption that I'm not sure if backed up by the facts unless there is someone willing to fight hard for him. Juvenile Detention Centers are often not places of healing.
A little more research reveals that depending on his previous offenses, the higher charges might force the judge under South Carolina law to try him as an adult. Which means he's going to adult jail with adult perps and all that implies.
In this case it seems like the public needs to be aware of him. As a minor, lesser charges *often* mean the records will probably be sealed, which means employers (like summer camps) will not be aware of his history. This petition seems like it has the correct viewpoint. However, it is very possible there are complications we are just not aware of and I don't feel comfortable supporting either side.