CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

'The Disconnect Between the Streets and the Business Suites'

(Baltimore, MD) Juvenile offenders brought from Baltimore detention centers, along with Baltimore PD representatives, school officials, social workers, and leaders from grass-roots organizations, participated in a panel discussion regarding street crime. The five teens, recognizing the mistakes they had made, talked about their intentions to stay on the right path in spite of the violence in their neighborhoods. "But asked whether they felt safe in their neighborhoods, their answers showed just how tenuous staying on the right path can be.
'For me, safe or not safe, it doesn't matter because things can go bad in a second,' said one of the teens, who added that he once made $850 a week on the streets slinging drugs. 'But if I've got [a gun], I'm the man and you can't say nothing to me. If I don't have a [gun], I'll walk around with a knife.' At one point, the panel moderator asked the teens whether any of their family or friends had been killed. 'This year?' one asked...

The teens who spoke to the crowd talked about the lure of the streets and how important the money they earned through criminal activity was to their families. They said they didn't want to become involved in violence, but some said factors in their neighborhoods and the need to be respected were difficult to overcome.
Full story from baltimoresun.com... [Michele Berry]

January 22, 2009 in Drugs, Guns, Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (2)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Study: Houston leads in homicides by black youths

As violent crime nationally slows in growth or declines, the United States is facing a dramatic — but hardly noticed — increase in murders by and of young African-American men, a Northeastern University study released today reports.

Between 2002 and 2007, the number of black male juveniles murdered nationally increased by 31 percent and the number of black perpetrators by 43 percent. The increases were even greater, the report said, when guns were used as weapons.

Focusing on the period between 2000-01 and 2006-07, the study found Houston at the top of a list of 28 U.S. cities, with a 139 percent increase in the number of young African-Americans suspected in killings.

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December 29, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Youth Development Center's closing marks change in juvenile justice approach

The shuttering of the county-run Youth Development Center in Hudson ends an era for a place that has served troubled youths for more than 100 years.

But it also marks a fundamental change in how the county's juvenile justice system will deal with kids who need a time-out from the community.

Previously, those youths - mostly probation violators who had committed crimes like burglary or domestic violence - were sent for months to the 453-acre campus in Summit County.

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November 15, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Adult Crimes, Young Offenders: 'Where Do We Draw the Line?

Victoria Price was startled from sleep by an intruder who tried to rape her. Chandler Goule was followed, forced to the concrete at gunpoint and robbed. Matthew Caspari was chased down an alley at knifepoint as his wife screamed in horror.

The three victims told their stories yesterday during a public hearing about D.C. Council legislation that would allow judges to send certain cases back to juvenile court and to end the pretrial placement of youths charged as adults at the D.C. jail. Youth advocates long have maintained that the jail is unfit for juveniles.

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October 22, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Attacks by Teen Groups Rising in D.C. and Nation

D.C. police say they are seeing a growing number of teenagers and young adults traveling in groups to assault and rob unsuspecting citizens, a trend that mirrors crimes in cities across the country.

In an eight-hour period last week, five people were attacked by juveniles in separate incidents, including an armed carjacking, in the Southwest waterfront neighborhood. And in the past month, there have been between seven and 11 "pack robberies" in or near Adams Morgan in Northwest Washington, Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said.

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October 14, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Minneapolis' 'blueprint' to attack youth violence is a success

When a politician hails an initiative as a "blueprint" for change, it often fails to deliver any substantial results. This doesn't appear to be the case with Minneapolis' blueprint to prevent youth violence, which started in January.

Gathering outside the city's new juvenile supervision center Friday, Mayor R.T. Rybak and a dozen community leaders presented a progress report on the comprehensive plan. Some of the successes they discussed were simpler to achieve, such as recruiting 25 city employees to serve as mentors for area youth, or expanding summer hours and programming at parks where crime is a problem.

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October 7, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Interpersonal and Physical Dating Violence Among Teens

The death of a 16 year-old girl, shot and killed by her

17 year-old boyfriend in Oakland, California, epitomizes

the potential of interpersonal violence to escalate to a

tragic extreme (Contra Costa Times, 2008). Exposure to

interpersonal violence often begins in early adolescence

and continues into adulthood (CDC, 2006). In the US

alone, approximately 1 in 3 adolescent girls (estimates up

to 35%) is a victim of interpersonal violence (Bonomi

& Kelleher, 2007; CDC 2006 & 2007; Marcus, 2005).

This Focus attempts to bring to light various aspects of

a little-studied issue of critical importance, especially to

youth.

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October 3, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

N.Y. Law Treats Child Prostitutes as Crime Victims not Offenders

Ending years of debate and delay, Gov. David A. Paterson on Friday signed into law a bill shielding sexually exploited girls and boys from being charged with prostitution.

The law, known as the Safe Harbor for Exploited Youth Act, will divert children under the age of 18 who have been arrested for prostitution into counseling and treatment programs, provided they agree to aid in the prosecution of their pimps.

It has been the subject of intense debate in the State Legislature and beyond, and was opposed by some law enforcement officials and by the Bloomberg administration, which argued that the bill would make it harder to crack down on prostitution.

But the bill’s backers said it was wrong to treat under-age prostitutes — many forced into the sex trade and kept there with physical threats and abuse — as criminals rather than victims.

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September 27, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy, Criminal Law, Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Public defender wants alternatives to juvenile detention

Pd Nashville's new public defender says she is most proud of two things: the good work her office does in representing the city's poor and being the city's first woman to hold the office.

Dawn Deaner, a 12-year veteran of the office, was appointed by Metro Council Tuesday night to lead the office until 2010. She'll be completing the term of Ross Alderman, who was killed last month in a motorcycle accident.

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September 23, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

At Sentencing, Youth Bares Soul, and Judge Bares His Pain

How much misery was appropriate to inflict on a promising 19-year-old, who himself had inflicted misery on society by dealing drugs, the judge asked himself out loud.

“It’s almost an impossible calculus,” said Justice Farber, who sits in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

The young man, Yiskar Caceres, had been arrested four times in roughly 15 months for selling or possessing cocaine, and Justice Farber already had given him an opportunity to wipe his slate clean before his most recent arrest, in April.

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September 21, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

After fatal call, judge should resign

She should call a news conference before the week is out, apologize for the pivotal role she played in a killing last week and tender her letter to the administrative judge of the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court.

Her apology should acknowledge that she was uniquely positioned to save the life of a 17-year-old Cleveland boy, who was shot five times Friday evening. She should acknowledge that instead, she gambled with the public's safety by releasing an increasingly dangerous teen hours before he killed.

Floyd should acknowledge that for inexcusable reasons, she rolled the dice on a violent juvenile, who had been aggressively working his way up to murder. She should acknowledge that she was the last person who could have prevented Demel Holiday's life from ending the way it did.

If Floyd truly cares about this community -- if she has any honor -- she will take ownership of a senseless death and demonstrate leadership by removing herself from the bench.

That would be a public service.

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September 18, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Juvenile program 'a place of last resort,' not rehabilitation

Hennepin County is spending too much on residential treatment programs for juvenile offenders and could save money and get better results by leaving more young offenders with their families and placing them in daytime rehabilitation programs.

That's the finding of a study group made up of judges and corrections officials who recommend overhauling programs at the Hennepin County Home School.

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September 11, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Panel reviews law for teen criminals

At a time when two studies question the validity of a state law that placed all 17-year-old criminal offenders in adult court, a committee of state legislators and other stakeholders has begun reviewing whether the law should be changed.

The Wisconsin Legislative Council’s Special Committee on High-Risk Juvenile Offenders, headed by Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) and vice chairman Rep. Rich Zipperer (R-City of Pewaukee), is studying what the best practices would be for decreasing recidivism among juvenile offenders, including a review of current law.

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August 26, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Authorities seek programs for youths to reduce violence

Ymca At 14, Javier Quiroz was starting to take pride in his appearance. He liked to wear nice clothes, and his hair was rarely out of place. He played soccer and swam with friends, and he worked part time at a cousin's restaurant. He lived with his family in a City Heights apartment complex his mother manages.

Javier was a block from the apartment, at a friend's house, the last time his mother spoke to him. It was about midnight when she called and told him to come home.

“I'm coming back,” he said. “Don't worry.”

Javier never made it home.

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August 25, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Juvenile Transfers A Deterrent?

Beginning in the 1980s, many States passed legal reforms designed to get tough on juvenile crime. One important reform was the revision of transfer (also called waiver or certification) laws (Griffin, 2003) to expand the types of offenses and offenders eligible for transfer from the juvenile court for trial and sentencing in the adult criminal court These reforms lowered the minimum age for transfer, increased the number of transfer-eligible offenses, or expanded prosecutorial discretion and reduced judicial discretion in transfer decisionmaking (Fagan and Zimring, 2000; Redding, 2003, 2005). In 1979, for example, 14 States had automatic transfer statutes requiring that certain juvenile offenders be tried as adults; by 1995, 21 States had such laws, and by 2003, 31 States (Steiner and Hemmens, 2003)

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August 14, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

S.F. fund aids teen felons who are illegals

As San Francisco's juvenile justice system shielded young illegal immigrant felons from possible deportation, Mayor Gavin Newsom's office gave grants totaling more than $650,000 to nonprofit agencies to provide the underage offenders with free services - everything from immigration attorneys to housing assistance to "arts and cultural affirmation activities," city records show.

Newsom has said the city began its policy of not referring young immigrant offenders to federal authorities for deportation under previous mayors, and that he reversed the practice after he became aware of it this year. However, in 2006, the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice - a community outreach arm of Newsom's office - created a grant program specifically designed to assist, rather than deport, "undocumented, unaccompanied and monolingual" immigrants who were in the custody of the city's Juvenile Probation Department or on juvenile probation, according to city documents.

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August 3, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"Project Zero" Overhauled NYC Teen Offender Rehab

Dr. Clarice Bailey was sent to New York City by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government to find out what it’s like inside the city’s program for juvenile justice reform. The Institute had its eye on the Department of Probation initiative called “Project Zero,” which seeks alternative kinds of rehabilitation to locking up young offenders in juvenile jail. Bailey spoke with probation officers, staff at the family courts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and counselors who work one-on-one with families in the system. Then she met the youths.

She recalled what the kids said about the adult staffers assigned to help them: “They’re like family. I’m close to them. They helped me when I got kicked out of my grandma’s house. They made sure I was all right.”

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July 9, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ariz. courts trying alternative juvenile justice

TUCSON - If you had visited the juvenile lockup in Pima County a decade ago - at the height of the adult-time-for-adult-crime campaign - you'd have seen young people sleeping in the cafeteria because of crowding.

If you'd visited five years ago, you'd have seen nearly 200 juveniles held each day.

If you visited a week ago, you would have counted 78.

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July 1, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Cops: Grand Theft Auto video game inspired crimes

Teenagers who police say went on a video-game-inspired late-night crime spree were arraigned Thursday after they mugged a man outside a New Hyde Park supermarket and menaced motorists in Garden City with a baseball bat, a crowbar and a broomstick, Nassau police said.

The teens told detectives they were imitating the "Grand Theft Auto" video-game series where characters steal cars, beat up other characters and commit crimes, authorities said.

Police have identified at least three victims: a man they said was severely beaten during a robbery; a would-be carjacking victim; and a driver whose van was smashed with a bat.

Nassau Det. Lt. Raymond Coté said there are likely more victims who were attacked.

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June 30, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cops: Grand Theft Auto video game inspired crimes

Teenagers who police say went on a video-game-inspired late-night crime spree were arraigned Thursday after they mugged a man outside a New Hyde Park supermarket and menaced motorists in Garden City with a baseball bat, a crowbar and a broomstick, Nassau police said.

The teens told detectives they were imitating the "Grand Theft Auto" video-game series where characters steal cars, beat up other characters and commit crimes, authorities said.

Police have identified at least three victims: a man they said was severely beaten during a robbery; a would-be carjacking victim; and a driver whose van was smashed with a bat.

Nassau Det. Lt. Raymond Coté said there are likely more victims who were attacked.

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June 28, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)