Good behavior had earned her a home pass to visit family a few weeks before her mid-April release. Since her first arrest at age 12, Makala, whose last name is not used because she is a minor, has bounced through a number of placement and transition programs. She described a menacing environment, rife with constant threats. In , girls made up 29 percent of all juvenile arrests nationwide, and though juvenile crime rates are dropping overall, the decrease is less pronounced for females. Like boys, girls in the system often have histories of abuse and mental health issues, researchers say. But, they add, girls in the system are less likely to get the help they need, and the long-term consequences of delinquency may be more serious for girls than for boys. Delinquency cases for girls have skyrocketed in recent decades, increasing 92 percent between and And New York has its own share of troubled girls. Statewide, about 20 percent of juveniles in residential placement were female, according to statistics from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. In New Jersey, the figure was about 7 percent.
1,909 children are arrested each day in America—one every 45 seconds
Juveniles who are arrested for criminal offenses may be released to their parents while the case is pending in juvenile delinquency court or they may be held in a juvenile detention facility until disposition of the juvenile court case. Unlike adult offenders, juveniles are not able to post bail to secure their release and may only be released by a probation officer or judge. For misdemeanors and less-serious felonies, the minor will often be allowed to remain at home while the juvenile case is pending. However, in serious matters or where the juvenile is already on juvenile probation or has a lengthy juvenile record, the minor may be held in a juvenile detention center. When a minor is arrested for a criminal offense, he or she will not be taken to an adult jail with adult offenders. In more serious cases, the minor will be taken to one of the juvenile detention centers operated by Los Angeles County Probation Department, including Barry J. If the IDC officer determines that the minor should remain at juvenile hall, the minor would appear before a juvenile court judge for arraignment within 48 hours excluding weekends and holidays. Even if the IDC officer decides that a minor must remain in custody pending disposition of the juvenile petition, the juvenile court judge may release the minor at his or her arraignment following a detention hearing.
At-risk youth should be served in their homes or foster care whenever possible. High-quality , family-based residential care such as the Teaching Family Model has shown to be the best option for some at-risk, high-needs children. Many of these youth have serious behavioral or emotional problems and have needs that cannot be met through less-restrictive approaches. When foster or community care settings fail youth with behavioral or emotional problems, our society owes these children another option. The evidence-based Teaching Family Model and the Boys Town Family Home Program SM deliver improved outcomes and a safe environment for many of these children, at a lower long-term cost. Over its plus year history, Boys Town has earned frequent praise and recognition for its positive and effective approach to meeting the needs of juvenile offenders. Instead of living in a correctional environment that can often reinforce or perpetuate criminal behavior, juveniles at Boys Town are part of a family that teaches them positive behaviors and social skills, and respect for themselves and others. Margaret Vacek margaret. You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server.
These children are disproportionately pushed out of schools and pulled into unjust systems through arrests and incarceration, which exacerbates harm and increases the risk of abuse. More than , children were arrested in the United States in While youth arrests and detentions have been declining overall, 43, children were held in residential placement on an average night in and extreme racial disparities have persisted. All children deserve to grow up at home in safe, stable families, receive a quality education in safe, supportive schools, and participate in peaceful, thriving communities. To the extent that children are deemed to have committed a punishable offense per the juvenile justice system or a crime per the adult criminal justice system, they are entitled to adequate legal representation and a response that is age-appropriate, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-responsive, gender-responsive, and trauma-informed in the least-restrictive, most-safe setting in order to facilitate rehabilitation, promote healing, ensure positive youth development, and reduce recidivism. To stop the criminalization of children and ensure justice for all youth, we must:. Youth are still growing and learning at such a young age. They should not be subjected to such a harsh punishment because that affects them long-term.