Coming into contact with the juvenile justice system can have a lasting impact on a person’s life. Once arrested and placed into a detention center, the likelihood of it occurring again exponentially increases. In most cases, young people who get into trouble with the law are better served by alternatives to incarceration.
Reducing recidivism among young Americans must be a chief priority in the U.S. Our adult prisons are overcrowded thanks to the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of nonviolent offenders. Mandatory minimum sentencing laws have not helped either; although efforts have been made to roll back draconian sentencing laws in recent years.
Many people currently serving time in adult jails and prisons had interactions with the juvenile justice system. It stands to reason that doing a better job rehabilitating young people could prevent scenarios like that from happening.
The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is an organization dedicated to rehabilitating youths and prevent recidivism. The organization writes:
“We work to ensure more humane and rehabilitative prevention and treatment for all children who come in contact with the juvenile justice system, especially children of color who historically have been disproportionately impacted.”
To stop the criminalization of children and ensure justice for all youth, the CDF calls for: more federal resources for youth justice reform, closing youth prisons and investing in restorative, community-based solutions, and putting an end to solitary confinement for children.
New Report on Juvenile Delinquency Rates
Researchers at Frontpoint Security analyzed data from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to find the number of arrests made per 100,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 17, Patch reports. They sought to determine which states had the highest and lowest youth delinquency rates. For instance, California ranked 37th overall.
The research only looked at two types of crime: juvenile larceny (stealing without threatening anyone) and juvenile robbery (stealing by force or threat). In 2017, there were 73 juvenile robbery arrests and 264 juvenile larceny arrests in California, according to the article. Over 300 arrests may seem like a lot until you look at Maryland and Louisiana.
Maryland had 205 juvenile robbery arrests in 2017, the highest rate in the country. The data indicate that Louisiana topped the chart for juvenile larceny arrests with 1,173. Maryland came in first for the highest juvenile theft rates, and Louisiana came in second. West Virginia had the lowest teenage arrest rate.
Fortunately, there is evidence that juvenile delinquency is on the decline. Organizations like the CDF are helping to make even more significant reductions a reality. Frontpoint Security writes:
“… there’s hope for children and teens who have committed crimes—rehab programs that take a therapeutic approach can help them reverse course, and juvenile justice advocates work hard to give them a second chance.”
Orange County Juvenile Defense Attorney
If your son or daughter has been arrested for larceny or robbery, then please contact The Law Offices of Katie Walsh. Attorney Walsh is a former prosecutor which means she has a unique understanding of both sides of the courtroom. She can help your family find a favorable outcome to this unfortunate situation.