2/25/2011

Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!
Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!

2/13/2011

Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!

Bill seeks to let 12-yr-olds have non-penetrative sex

CHENNAI: Twelve-year-old children will be legally permitted to have non-penetrative sex with children their age, according to a draft Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Bill, 2010, that has been sent to states by the ministry of women and child development for their views.

The Bill also seeks to introduce a gradation in the age of consensual non-penetrative sex (12-14 years and 14-16 years) against the existing age of consent for sex which is 16 years. It proposes that in case of the age group 12-14, the maximum age gap between partners should be two years. For the 14-16 group, the maximum gap should be three years.

The age of consent in the US is between 16 and 18 years, depending on the state they live in; in the UK it is 16. Spain has one of the lowest ages of consent, at 13 years.

While a senior official of the ministry of women and child development confirmed that the Bill has been sent to state governments, law minister Veerappa Moily said he was not aware of it. ``Twelve years is anyway not a proper age for a sexual act,`` he told TOI.

Section 3 of the proposed Bill lists under exceptions of unlawful sexual act with a child:

(i) Any consensual non-penetrative sexual act penalised by this chapter is not an offence when engaged in between two children who are both over 12 years of age and are either of the same age or whose ages are within two years of each other.

(ii) when engaged in between two persons who are both over 14 years of age and are either of the same age or whose ages are within three years of each other

The Bill will soon be sent to the cabinet, after which a parliamentary standing committee will scrutinise it. Suggestions and objections from the states will be considered then, said a senior official at the ministry of women and child development.

The law ministry too has been working on a similar Bill with an identical name, in which the age of consent is mentioned as 16 years, with no gradation as suggested by the new Bill. The circulation of two Bills with the same title has created confusion in the government.

Opinion on the minimum age are divided. Aparna Bhat, a Supreme Court lawyer who was part of a National Commission for Protection of Child Rights group that drafted the latest Bill said the gradation of age down to 12 years was to decriminalise sexual exploration by two children.

Under the existing law, if two 12-year-olds get physical and if one childs parent complains, the other can be pulled up by the Juvenile Justice Board. The panel felt such minor things should be decriminalised, she said.

Raaj Mangal, chairperson of Delhi Child Welfare Committee said the Bill could prove ``disastrous`` if it comes into effect. ``Twelve, given the mind and maturity of a child, is not an age to give consent, be it penetrative or non-penetrative sex. In the name of decriminalising, you can`t keep sexual acts between children out of the notice of the authorities,`` said Mangal.

Former CBI director RK Raghavan felt the attempt to draw a distinction between an act involving penetration and one not involving penetration will create confusion in the minds of investigators. ``Disputes regarding the age of the offender or the victim, which will be many, will dilute the objective of protecting children,`` he said.

Some others like Nina Nayak, chairperson of Karnataka State Commission for the protection of child rights, called the Bill ``absolutely unacceptable``. ``The Juvenile Justice Board is anyway lenient to children in conflict with law. Even if a minor rapes a minor, the child in conflict with law is just admonished and sent. There is no need of a new law to make sexual acts between children permissible,`` she said.

2/12/2011

Sending Kids to Prison Doesn't work



Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!
Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!

New CA Bill Would Allow Review of Juvenile LWOP Cases!

Senate Bill 9 has been introduced and is currently waiting to be set for a hearing. YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! Please tell people about the bill and gather letters in support!  For a sample letter, click “TAKE ACTION” box to the right! For more information about the bill, go to Cases and bills tab on the upper left of the home page.The bill, similar to an earlier bill that failed to pass by two votes, would allow review of the cases of youth who were sentenced to life without parole. Be sure to sign up for updates, too.

http://www.fairsentencingforyouth.org/2011/02/new-ca-bill-would-allow-review-of-juvenile-lwop-cases/
Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!
Former Pennsylvania judge goes on trial over juvenile sentencing scandal
Megan McKee at 3:04 PM ET

Photo source or description
[JURIST] Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania [official website] on Monday began selecting the jury in the corruption trial of former Pennsylvania judge Mark Ciavarella for his role in a juvenile sentencing scandal [JURIST news archive]. Ciavarella, a former judge in Pennsylvania's Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas, is accused of receiving kickbacks for sentencing teenagers to two private juvenile detention facilities in which they had a financial interest. Ciavarella is charged [UPI report] with 39 counts of honest services fraud, racketeering, money laundering, wire fraud, bribery, extortion and tax evasion. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Tuesday. In July, Judge Edwin Kosik accepted [JURIST report] a plea agreement [text, PDF] with former Pennsylvania judge Michael Conahan for his involvement in the juvenile sentencing scandal. Conahan now faces a 20-year prison sentence, a fine of up to $250,000 and disbarment. Kosik had previously rejected [JURIST report] joint plea agreements [text, PDF] from Conahan and Ciavarella, finding that plea bargaining to honest services fraud and tax evasion charges demonstrated that the men did not accept responsibility and that the disbarment and 87-month prison sentences were too lenient [JURIST op-ed]. In October 2009, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania [official website] overturned about 6,500 convictions [JURIST report] handed down by Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008, but gave prosecutors permission to seek retrial of more than 100 youths who were still under court supervision. Conahan and Ciavarella were indicted in September of 2009, following a withdrawal of the guilty pleas they entered [JURIST reports] in February 2009.
Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!
Nevada budget woes threaten juvenile justice program

By Susan Voyles • svoyles@rgj.com • February 11, 2011



With Nevada’s help over the past decade, Washoe County officials say they have built a model program to help keep juvenile delinquents out of trouble, including close supervision, counseling and even new home environments.

With a similar approach taken in Clark County and other counties, Washoe Juvenile Services Director Carey Stewart said they have been successful: Despite a growing population, the number of youths sent to state juvenile detention facilities each year has dropped, from 571 youths committed in 1998 to 269 in 2010.

That’s 302 youths the state no longer funds in institutions.

And at Washoe County’s own juvenile detention facilities, only 72 beds on average were filled of 108 beds last year.

But with Gov. Brian Sandoval’s proposal to yank money for alternative programs serving juveniles — which are also far less expensive than running detention facilities, Stewart said the whole system is at risk of breaking down.

One way or another, at least 220 youths in Washoe County could be directly affected by the governor’s cuts, based on the number of youths in alternative programs in 2010.
“We are obviously alarmed in juvenile justice,” Stewart said. “When you look at all the programs that are making changes for kids, it’s the perfect storm,” Stewart said. “We in essence are doing away with all of our upfront services.”

But without alternatives providing treatment, he fears that more youths could be sent “through a revolving door” at detention facilities. That means they’d be back on the street, presenting a danger to others, and possibly going on to a life of crime.

At the same time, Sandoval is proposing to take 50 beds for juvenile boys offline at the 160-bed Nevada Youth Training Center in Elko. Another 140 youths, including 40 girls, are at the youth center in Caliente.

The governor, however, can’t stop family court judges from ordering youths to be sent to state detention facilities, Stewart said.

With fewer alternatives, he said, more youths more will be committed to the state detention centers. And that could end up costing the state more, he said.

Heidi Gansert, the governor’s chief of staff, said the state expects the counties to take over the preventive services because they are county programs. She said it is not the state’s intention for the programs to go away.

She also cautioned that it’s only the first week of the legislature. “It’s a process. The governor is taking the time to meet with county leaders. They may have good ideas. We can’t spend more money, but we can move between the lines.”

While preventive services would be dropped, the governor’s budget also adds $1 million in new costs to the county.

The governor proposes to charge the county $830,000 a year for state parole officers who oversee youths paroled from state institutions and he would stop paying the county $134,000 a year for detaining those youth for parole violations at Wittenberg Hall.

That would be a hefty burden for his current $13.5 million budget to absorb at a time when the county intends to cut his budget by another 2.7 percent next year.

2/11/2011

Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!

2/09/2011

Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!
Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!
Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!







VOLUNTEER POSTIONS



1.) ADVERTISING/PROMOTERS
a.) Pass out A.A.A.(Advocates For Abandoned Adolescents) pamphlets at local events etc...
b.) Promote A.A.A. Online chat rooms, websites, forums etc...
c.) Pursue/Obtain National media attention for the A.A.A. agenda

2.) FUNDRAISING
a.) Help raise funds for the A.A.A support programmes
b.) Solicit donations from list of possible donors
c.) Help come up with creative ways to raise funds.

3.) A.A.A. CO-ORDINATOR / One Per State
a.) Organize Statewide members in accordance with A.A.A agenda
b.) Advocate for Abandoned Adolescents Locally
c.) Co-ordinate/organize local A.A.A. support programmes
d.)Co-ordinate their members for the National March on State Capital (Date to be set)
e.) Send /be a Representative (A.A.A.) at Local Govt. meetings

4.) LAWYER
a.) Assist in the construction of petitions supported by A.A.A.
b.) Pro bono work for Juveniles
c.) Answer questions (legal) that's placed on the A.A.A. question/answer page

5.) A.A.A. program co-ordinator
a.) Send out D.C info packet to Juveniles in adult prisons
b.) Assign (by recomendation) Pro Bono Lawyers to kids in adult prisons
c.)Start a file on the stories of America's Abandoned Adolescents
d.) Start a Campaign to find Local mentors for imprisoned youth


Message from Dant'e D. Cottingham #259241 -
(The Inspiration for A.A.A.)

As most of you already know, I've been in Prison for nearly 16yrs now. I was incarcerated when I was a teenager and next month, february 20th, I'll be 33 yrs old.

I literally was forced to grow from a child to an adult in prison, a process that was long, cold and difficult, but yet a process that taught me a couple very important things.

Some of the most powerful things that I read the sentences that detail my history is the fact that a child has absolutely NO place in an adult prison, I see that a child has absolutely NO place within an adult court room, I see the fact Judges and Lawyers, Parents and Politicians were/are smart enough to do better for the most vulnerable sector of our society. Smart enough to adjudicate it's children in a more responsible way that is directly connected to the spirit of rehabilitation that value's a childs potential, and that respects cutting edge science.

Though world history is saturated with stories where societies sophistication was far more advanced than societies Laws and Policies, that is, until a group of people, Like Dr. Martin Luther King and the SNCC adopted an issue and pro actively pursued progressive transformations.
Well Today, in our era, that issue is a Juvenile Justice Issue. It's time for the responsible adults of our era to prevent our children being waived into the adult system and being discarded into adult prisons.
There are thousands upon thousands of adolescents in adult court rooms and prisons all across the U.S. but it can be stopped with your help, by adopting this issue we can take children from the grips of adult prisons, and place them on the path that leads to their maximal development.

I implore you get involved, find ways to help,
Thank you for your time and attention,
Dant'e Cottingham

2/08/2011

Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!


Hire a Contract Killer

2/03/2011

Society is letting down our youth.
Posted on 30. Jul, 2010 by paul b



I started this article on hearing that there are more 17yr old black youths are in Jail than in College in the USA. The phrase ‘that can’t be right’ sprang to mind in two ways. 1. Is that correct?… The answer unfortunately is, yes. And 2. Is that morally acceptable?… The answer for me is, most certainly not!
We seem to be locked into a growing cycle of self perpetuation that unless action is taken will get bigger and bigger and create a whole new world of hurt… and I’m not being overly dramatic here.
In the UK in the 80’s and 90’s the courts in the UK (and I guess the USA) started treating juveniles as adults and giving them longer sentences… After all house breaking and robbery are just as traumatic if it’s done by a 15year old as a 30year old, very little thought was given to the mental maturity of the offender.
In an adult prison, Juvenile offenders are more likely to be sexually abused and commit suicide. British Prison Reform Trust found that while people aged 15 to 21 made up 13 percent of the prison population; they comprised 22 percent of all suicide deaths.
Habitual adult offenders don’t grow on trees who suddenly decide on a life of crime as a career move at 25yrs of age. They are nurtured, encouraged and schooled just any other semi professional.
The New Jersey Medical School examining the problem came to some now obvious conclusions:
• The present system is not working.
• Severe penalties do not deterred juveniles from committing crimes.
• The penal system does not rehabilitated the youth sentenced under them
• It actually makes juveniles more violent.
A Florida study shows that youth sent into the adult system had 34% more felony arrests after being released than those held in juvenile facilities.




Stating the obvious again
If you want to have less Adult Prisoners in the future you have to start cutting the number of Juvenile offenders now.. For prisoners you can read crime… If you want less crime you have to stop children (for that is what they are) becoming offenders.
Taking a side step for a moment… We all (roughly) have the same intelligence, what we don’t have is the same education or educational advantage. Education is what sets productive members of society apart from people who don’t want to work and your opportunist thug.
OK. The above paragraph contains some sweeping generalisations, but the basic principle is correct.
Education solves problems in more areas than just crime. Education puts people in jobs… it creates jobs… It makes people more socially interactive and it lessens the divide between the haves and the have-nots. Also, Education once put into people’s heads makes revenue for the country.
The average unit cost of keeping someone in prison in 2009 was £24,271 a year compared with £2,369 for a probation order and £1,770 for a community service order.
The cost of keeping a prisoner locked up in a U. S. prison, on average, is more than it costs for most college students in tuition for a year. It is reported to run from $15,000 to $38,000 a year depending on state.
Education, in the UK, is not cheap, a Graduate will leave University after 3 yrs with a debt to the Government of about £30,000 before they start work. When I was a student, many years ago I got a grant and tuition fees that I didn’t have to repay, and I had friends, like myself, from working class backgrounds who would not have gone onto further education, but for the fact it was FREE. Friends, who if they had of been born 20 years later, might have drifted into a completely different layer of society.
I can’t help but think some of the modern problems afflicting society is due the restricting Education to those that can afford it and those that are mature enough at an early age to see the value in it.
A juvenile in prison for 3 years will cost us £74,000 and untold years of strife to society. He will probably re-offend and long term cost even more time and money. A fraction of that money spent now, will save money in the future.
Personally, I would rather have free education to a high standard for all young adults and provide new dedicated establishments with free facilities, cafe, climbing walls, gyms, computers, athletics, boxing, clubs, community centre, etc and access to education and people who would be mentors to try to prevent some committing offences in the first place.
What we need is a total revamp of the education system and investment in society’s future now, rather than perpetuate this spiral of neglect.
We need to invest in the future, not cut back investment in schools. It is not economic prudence to save money now, it is folly!.










Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!

SENTENCED TO DIE IN PRISON - SUPPORT 2ND CHANCE LEGISLATION



Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!

TIME FOR CHANGE - Kids behind bars



Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!
Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!

Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!

eTc Campaign


Advocate for Change We hope you will use the information on this website to ask policy makers for changes in the prison phone system.  Many of the positive changes we have seen were the result of just one or two policy makers who became concerned. The following FAQs will help you prepare to contact individuals.
1. How do I get started?

Be certain you understand the situation.

  • Visit the Rates by State page to see how the rates you are paying and the calling options you have compare to other states in the region and across the country.
  • Visit the National Perspective page to see how the system you are forced to use compares with others.
  • Visit the Developments Since 2000 page to see what has happened in your state and what editorialists have said, if anything.
2. Who should I contact?

Prison phone policies are determined at the state level.  So, we recommend that you contact state officials. 
Those include the following:

  • Public Service Commission or agency that regulates utilities
  • Attorney General or Agency that oversees consumer protection
  • Commissioner or Director of the Department of Corrections
  • Phone Company that provides the service
  • Better Business Bureau for the region that headquarters the phone company
  • Your state representative
  • Your state senator
3. What if I accept calls from another state?  Who do I write to in that case? Write to the officials in the state from which you receive calls.  In the case of legislators, write to the chairpersons of the house and senate committees that oversee corrections.  (Those can be located on the state's legislative website.)
4. What points should I raise?

We have heard a number of complaints from individuals who receive calls from individuals who are incarcerated.  Depending upon your experiences, you may want to raise some of the following issues:

  • I have been charged for calls I was not home to receive.
  • I have had calls prematurely terminated.
  • I have had my phone number blocked, apparently because the phone company with whom the prison system has contracted does not have a billing agreement with my local phone company.
  • I am charged exorbitant rates, in part because the phone company that operates the inmate phone service offers (and the state agrees to accept) an unreasonably high commission.
  • I am not allowed less expensive calling options. There is no technical reason why I should not be able to receive prepaid and/or debit calls that avoid operator assistance and can be billed profitably at considerably lower rates.
  • I am forced to pay in advance for collect phone calls, and never receive an accounting of dates, times, and length of calls charged against that prepayment.
  • The phone company charges me to process my payment.

5. What else should I include in the letter?

Be certain to include your name and address.  You may want to include your phone number as well.
Explain how long you have been receiving calls from the prison.  You may want to include a copy of your phone bill or the total amount you spend in a typical month.
6. How do I find the addresses of the individuals to whom I should write? 
Look up the phone company for the prison system on the Rates by State page. Click here for the chart that provides the address for each phone company and the associated Better Business Bureau. Click here for the address of the regulatory agency, the consumer protection advocate and the department of corrections.  See your state legislature's website for the address of your state senator and state representative.
7.How do I respond to false claims by the phone company or the department of corrections?
Many of those who defend abusive prison telephone systems offer misleading information for justification. Policy should be based on truth, not fiction.  Here is the truth:

  • Neither the state utility regulators (in most cases) nor the Federal Communications Commission sets rates for prison phone calls.  Since deregulation, phone companies are required to file rates, but those rates are not regulated or monitored.  (Check the Litigation Section of the "Progress Since 2000" page to see if the utility commission in your state has taken any action.)

  • The security features required for prison phone calls (e.g. branding, time limitations, monitoring, number restrictions, and bans on 3rd party calls) can be applied to debit calls as well as collect calls - at no additional cost.  (Because debit calls are prepaid and require no operator assistance, debit calls are charged at rates that are considerably cheaper than collect rates.) 

  • Debit calling would not require additional expensive hardware or software.

  • Representatives of phone companies have told us that debit calling would NOT substantially reduce the revenue received by the prison system.  If calls were less expensive, individuals would simply call more often.

  • It is not necessary to wait until the expiration of the contract to initiate changes.  Prison systems have negotiated changes in existing contracts.

  • While it is true that prisoner calls generally do not cost more than a collect call in the free world, it is important to understand that prisoners in many states are only allowed to make expensive collect calls.  Individuals in the free world can avoid such charges by making direct calls or using credit cards, debit cards, toll-free numbers, etc.

  • It is NOT true that taxpayers would have to subsidize the cost of the prison phone system if rates were reduced.  Commissions currently paid to the prison systems more than cover any costs associated with the phones.  If debit calling were implemented, rates could be reduced even more and still cover all costs.

  • It is true that the families and friends of prisoner are often poor, and can ill afford unreasonably high phone charges.

  • It is true that prisons are often built far from population centers, making visiting expensive and difficult.  Phone contact is the most practical means of staying in touch.

  • To the extent that telephone commissions are used for the benefit of prisoners, all taxpayers benefit as well.  It is not fair to "tax" only the families and friends of prisoners to pay for programs that will rehabilitate, produce more secure prisons, and enhance public safety.

2/02/2011

Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!


Clemency of juvenile killer gives Yee hope
January 04, 2011, 03:15 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal Staff
 

The last-minute sentence commutation of a woman serving life without parole for killing her pimp at age 16 has given a Peninsula state senator hope this is the year California abolishes the absolute term for all juvenile offenders.

As one of his final gubernatorial acts, Arnold Schwarzenegger granted clemency to convicted murderer Sara Kruzan by reducing her sentence to 25 years to life in prison. While the change doesn’t guarantee freedom to Kruzan, who fatally shot the man in 1994, it does offer the possibility.

State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, has long argued that all juvenile offenders deserve the chance at rehabilitation and release rather than being incarcerated at a young age with no hope of parole. He initially proposed completely outlawing the sentence but it failed to pass. Last year, Yee successfully pushed a tweaked version known as the Fair Sentencing for Youth Act through the Senate with bipartisan support but it died in the Assembly during the final days of the session. He reintroduced the legislation, now known as Senate Bill 9, last month.

The earliest committee hearing on the bill will be late January, said Yee spokesman Adam Keigwin.

California’s Proposition 21 allows prosecutors to charge juveniles as adults in a host of felony crimes, such as sexual assault and gang activity. Under the law, any juvenile charged with murder and special circumstances must be tried as an adult.

Yee’s bill does not abolish life without parole outright but would give courts leeway to review convictions after 10 years and consider changing some sentences to a minimum of 25 years to life.

Yee’s several attempts to pass the bill have been supported strongly by psychiatric and child advocacy groups but opposed by the California District Attorneys Association and California Police Chiefs Association. San Mateo County’s longtime former district attorney also opposed any change to the law.

The new year and new governor gives Yee optimism that 2011 will prove different although the biggest ray of hope was Schwarzenegger’s batch of final sentence reductions, including that of Kruzan.

Yee often used Kruzan’s case as an example of why offenders convicted as juveniles are capable of turning their lives around and may not have gotten the best shot at justice during trial.

“The case of Sara Kruzan demonstrates why we should never sentence a child to life without the possibility of parole — a sentence to die in prison,” Yee said in a prepared statement.

Kruzan, raised in Riverside by an abusive and drug-addicted mother, was groomed at age 11 for a life of prostitution, according to Yee’s office.

George Howard sexually assaulted Kruzan and put her to work at 13. Barely past age 16, Kruzan fatally shot the 37-year-old man and was sentenced to life without parole over the recommendations of both the California Youth Authority and a psychiatrist that she was suitable for rehabilitation.

Kruzan, now 33, has spent more than 16 years in prison and has more time to serve before now being eligible for parole. However, she is grateful to Schwarzenegger, said a member of her legal team.

“Gov. Schwarzenegger recognized that Sarah’s sentence of life without possibility of parole was excessive because of her young age at the time of the crime and the significant abuse she endured,” said Pat Arthur, who is also with the National Center for Youth law, in a statement.

Through her attorney, Kruzan expressed remorse for her crime and gratitude toward Schwarzenegger and her many supporters.

Yee applauded the governor’s act, too, but added the reminder that “there are many more Sara Kruzans out there who are also deserving of a more appropriate sentence.”

The Human Rights Watch estimated 59 percent of youth sentenced to life without parole had no prior criminal convictions and 45 percent of those involved in a homicide did not actually kill the victim.



Michelle Durand can be reached by e-mail: michelle@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.

Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!



Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!

January 2, 2011

"Sentences stick for young killers: Law shift won't help murder cases"

The title of this post is the headline of this interesting article from Florida Today.  Here are a few excerpts:
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in May that it was unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison for non-murderous crimes.  While three Florida juveniles have been resentenced, the ruling offers no relief to [those convicted of murder]....
According to a report issued in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Justice, 45 states have passed or amended legislation since 1992 making it easier to prosecute juveniles as adults.  The report states that the number of inmates under 18 confined in adult prisons more than doubled between 1990 and 2000....
Florida State University law professor Paolo Annino has spearheaded efforts to bring the possibility of parole back for juveniles sentenced to life or very long sentences.  He is the author of a bill, the Second Chance for Children in Prison Act, that would bring back the possibility of parole for children who were sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.
The children must have served at least eight years, must be considered rehabilitated, and must not have any disciplinary reports for the previous two years, among other requirements....
Annino's bill faces competition this year with a State Attorney's Association bill that would grant the possibility of parole for juveniles sentenced to life for crimes other than murder and after 25 years in prison.
Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!
JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO: Should an 11-Year-Old Be Tried For Murder as an Adult?
Jan 28, 2011 9:13 PM EST
Should an 11-year-old who allegedly kills a 26-year-old pregnant woman and mother of two with a shotgun be charged as an adult? That's the question in Pennsylvania.
The facts are simple. An 11-year-old received a shotgun as a gift for Christmas from his dad. He was a good shot, and won a turkey shoot less than two weeks before the shooting -- beating out several adults. The victim was his father's girlfriend who was pregnant with his father's child. The boy and his father were living in the same home with the victim and her two daughters, just seven and four years old.

The issue of children being prosecuted as adults has always been controversial. Our belief that children should be treated differently stems from a society trying to protect those who are young and capable of reform. On the other hand, there are those who believe the punishment should fit the crime, not the criminal.

The United States Supreme Court has held that the purpose of juvenile courts is to seek rehabilitation, supervision or provide counseling. Treatment of juveniles is usually more lenient than for adults. The purpose is to protect youth and guide them to more productive lives, while still holding them accountable to some degree for their actions.
Juvenile court proceedings are generally private and held in rooms separate from adult courtrooms. If the offender is found delinquent, a probation officer prepares a more detailed report recommending a sentence. The harshest treatment is a sentence in a locked juvenile facility.
Historically, the fact that children were treated differently often caused a deprivation of their rights. The United States Supreme Court in 1967 dealt with this issue in a landmark case (In re Gault). There, a 15-year-old was arrested for making dirty remarks over the telephone. He was arrested and kept in custody. His parents were not advised that he was in police custody nor were they advised of the charges against him. He was held in a detention facility for a week. No record of the proceeding was kept; and the witness to whom he made the call didn't even appear in court. He was sentenced to spend the next six years in a state school until he was 21 years old. His parents were poor, did not have a high school education and only had $100, but pursued the matter and took the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. There, the highest court in the land, extending rights to children that adults customarily had, overturned his conviction.

The decision to prosecute a child as an adult is a difficult one. I know. I have made the decision to prosecute a 12-year-old killer as an adult. The choice is not about being "hard" or being compassionate. It is about recognizing the evil that accompanies a killer's choice to take the life of an innocent pregnant woman and mother of two, whose children will never get to hug their mother again because an angry "boy" with a gun decided she should die.
Once a decision is made to prosecute a juvenile as an adult, the case is transferred to an adult court. Such a transfer can have serious sentencing consequences -- the juvenile can be sentenced to life or even death (if he or she is over age 18 years old at the time of sentencing).

In the case at hand, the District Attorney in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania has made the decision to prosecute this 11-year-old as an adult. He bases this on the theory that the crime was "premeditated," in that the boy first came downstairs with a weapon and was seen by the victim's seven-year-old daughter.
He reversed course, went back to his room, and put a blanket over the gun. He then returned to the first floor bedroom where his victim was sleeping and shot her in the back of the head.
There are reports that the 11-year-old had threatened to kill his victim and her daughters for months.
His callous action -- throwing a spent shell casing from his shotgun, before getting on a bus to go to school, was witnessed by the seven-year-old girl. That shell casing was later recovered by the police.

A three judge panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania met in Pittsburgh on Tuesday to determine whether or not Jordan Anthony Brown should be tried as an adult. A County Court judge already refused to move Brown's case to juvenile court. If tried as an adult Brown faces life in prison but would be free by age 21 if he was tried in juvenile court.
I agree with the decision to try Brown as an adult because it appears that this boy plotted to kill his father's fiance. He not only threatened to kill her, he, at first, hid the gun and then picked up shell casing before getting on the bus to go to school.
Judge Jeanine Pirro is the host of "Justice with Judge Jeanine" which airs Saturday evenings at 9 p.m. ET on Fox News Channel. She is also the host of a daytime courtshow "Judge Pirro." She is a former County Court Judge and District Attorney of Westchester County, New York .



Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!
Clemency of juvenile killer gives Yee hope
January 04, 2011, 03:15 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal Staff

The last-minute sentence commutation of a woman serving life without parole for killing her pimp at age 16 has given a Peninsula state senator hope this is the year California abolishes the absolute term for all juvenile offenders.

As one of his final gubernatorial acts, Arnold Schwarzenegger granted clemency to convicted murderer Sara Kruzan by reducing her sentence to 25 years to life in prison. While the change doesn’t guarantee freedom to Kruzan, who fatally shot the man in 1994, it does offer the possibility.

State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, has long argued that all juvenile offenders deserve the chance at rehabilitation and release rather than being incarcerated at a young age with no hope of parole. He initially proposed completely outlawing the sentence but it failed to pass. Last year, Yee successfully pushed a tweaked version known as the Fair Sentencing for Youth Act through the Senate with bipartisan support but it died in the Assembly during the final days of the session. He reintroduced the legislation, now known as Senate Bill 9, last month.

The earliest committee hearing on the bill will be late January, said Yee spokesman Adam Keigwin.

California’s Proposition 21 allows prosecutors to charge juveniles as adults in a host of felony crimes, such as sexual assault and gang activity. Under the law, any juvenile charged with murder and special circumstances must be tried as an adult.

Yee’s bill does not abolish life without parole outright but would give courts leeway to review convictions after 10 years and consider changing some sentences to a minimum of 25 years to life.

Yee’s several attempts to pass the bill have been supported strongly by psychiatric and child advocacy groups but opposed by the California District Attorneys Association and California Police Chiefs Association. San Mateo County’s longtime former district attorney also opposed any change to the law.

The new year and new governor gives Yee optimism that 2011 will prove different although the biggest ray of hope was Schwarzenegger’s batch of final sentence reductions, including that of Kruzan.

Yee often used Kruzan’s case as an example of why offenders convicted as juveniles are capable of turning their lives around and may not have gotten the best shot at justice during trial.

“The case of Sara Kruzan demonstrates why we should never sentence a child to life without the possibility of parole — a sentence to die in prison,” Yee said in a prepared statement.

Kruzan, raised in Riverside by an abusive and drug-addicted mother, was groomed at age 11 for a life of prostitution, according to Yee’s office.

George Howard sexually assaulted Kruzan and put her to work at 13. Barely past age 16, Kruzan fatally shot the 37-year-old man and was sentenced to life without parole over the recommendations of both the California Youth Authority and a psychiatrist that she was suitable for rehabilitation.

Kruzan, now 33, has spent more than 16 years in prison and has more time to serve before now being eligible for parole. However, she is grateful to Schwarzenegger, said a member of her legal team.

“Gov. Schwarzenegger recognized that Sarah’s sentence of life without possibility of parole was excessive because of her young age at the time of the crime and the significant abuse she endured,” said Pat Arthur, who is also with the National Center for Youth law, in a statement.

Through her attorney, Kruzan expressed remorse for her crime and gratitude toward Schwarzenegger and her many supporters.

Yee applauded the governor’s act, too, but added the reminder that “there are many more Sara Kruzans out there who are also deserving of a more appropriate sentence.”

The Human Rights Watch estimated 59 percent of youth sentenced to life without parole had no prior criminal convictions and 45 percent of those involved in a homicide did not actually kill the victim.



Michelle Durand can be reached by e-mail: michelle@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.

                                                                   Sara Kruzan
Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!
Updated: 7:10 AM Jan 8, 2011
Governor Ritter changed the lives of nearly thirty Colorado residents Friday who had been convicted of serious crimes by granting them a pardon or commutation resulting from a further review of their case.
Governor Ritter changed the lives of nearly thirty Colorado residents Friday who had been convicted of serious crimes by granting them a pardon or commutation resulting from a further review of their case.
Gov. Bill Ritter Friday approved 28 pardons and commutations, including commutations for four individuals who were juveniles when they committed their crimes.
“After carefully reviewing each of these cases, I believe it serves the interests of justice − without compromising public safety − to grant these pardons and commutations,” said Gov. Ritter. Ritter spent nearly two decades as a criminal prosecutor, including 12 years as Denver's district attorney.
Gov. Ritter established the nation's first Juvenile Clemency Board in 2007 to review commutation requests from offenders who, as juveniles, were tried, convicted and sentenced as adults. Today's commutations are the first issued under this new system.
The cases include the following:
Juvenile Clemencies
Charles E. Limbrick Jr. a Colorado Springs man who in 1989 was sentenced to life for the first-degree murder of his mother. He was 15 when, in September 1988, Limbrick waited at the foot of the stairs in the family's home on Potter Drive and shot his mother, Betty, in the head. Today's action awards parole, for the maximum allowable term of five years, effective July 1, 2011.
Dietrick Mitchell who in 1992 was sentenced to life for first-degree murder. Eligible for parole in 2031, his sentence is now commuted to 32 years and his parole eligibility date will be recalculated.
Sean Steele who in 1997 was sentenced to 48 years for second-degree murder, 32 years for robbery and in 2004 to 15 months for drug possession. Eligible for parole in 2031, his eligibility date will be recalculated based on a single 48-year sentence.
Sean Taylor who in 1990 was sentenced to life for first-degree murder. Eligible for parole in 2029, he is granted parole, for the maximum allowable term of five years, effective July 1, 2011.
Commutations:
Jesse I. Cluff who in 1994 was sentenced to prison for 48 years for aggravated robbery. Eligible for parole in 2014, he is granted parole, for the maximum allowable term of five years, effective July 1, 2011.
Gary E. Izor who has served time since the 1970s for homicide, DUI and escape. Eligible for parole in 2016, he is granted parole, for the maximum allowable term of five years, effective July 1, 2011.
Christopher S. Kemp who in 1993 was sentenced to prison for aggravated robbery. Eligible for parole in 2031, he is now eligible on Dec. 31, 2013.
Jennifer Reali who in 1992 was sentenced to life for first-degree murder and 24 years for conspiracy to commit murder. Reali was convicted of killing Dianne Hood, the wife of Reali's lover, in Colorado Springs. Eligible for parole in 2030, she is now eligible on June 25, 2011.
Stanley Reese who in 1995 was sentenced to 48 years for burglary, 24 years for theft and one year for criminal mischief. Eligible for parole in 2013, he is granted parole, for the maximum allowable term of five years, effective July 1, 2011.
Robert F. Willner who in 1991 was sentenced to life without parole for first-degree murder. In 2003, his sentence was modified to life with the possibility of parole in 40 years. He is now granted parole elibility on Dec. 8, 2015.
Pardons:
Ginger Sue Carmichael who in 2004 pleaded guilty to drug charges and has completed her sentence.
Alan Edwin Fahrenbruch who in 1962 was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery and has completed his sentence.
William Rolland Fitzwater who in 1991 was convicted of drug possession and has completed his sentence.
Joseph Matthew Gallegos who in 1998 was convicted of domestic-violence assault and menacing and has completed his sentence.
Antasia Giebler who in 1998 pleaded guilty to vehicular eluding and being an accessory to the crime and has completed her sentence
.
Desiree Greeno who in 1990 pleaded guilty to theft and has completed her sentence.
Courtney Morgan Hart who in 2000 pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a financial transaction device and has completed her sentence.
David Sean Herron who in 1995 pleaded guilty to theft and has completed his sentence.
Joshua M. Karp who in 2001 pleaded guilty to a municipal domestic violence offense and has completed his sentence.
Gary Lee Levi Sr. who in 1966 pleaded no contest to a felony charge of short check and has completed his sentence.
Kevin B. Reeves who in 2009 was charged with felony criminal impersonation and has completed the terms of a deferred judgment and sentence.
Shannon Louise Robledo who in 1997 pleaded guilty to larceny and has completed her sentence.
Elizabeth Helen Schmidl who in 1995 pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft and has completed her sentence.
Michael J. Schneider who in 1993 was convicted of criminal trespass, attempted escape and third-degree assault and has completed his sentence.
Brian Andrew Severson who in 1989, while a juvenile, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault on a child and has completed his sentence.
Patricia M. Sweeney who in 1996 pleaded guilty to assault and administration of a drug and has completed her sentence.
Doyle T. Tobel who in 1984 pleaded guilty to attempted sale of a narcotic and has completed his sentence.
Kevin Turnock who in 1988 pleaded guilty to misdemeanor shoplifting and has completed his sentence.

 


Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!

11-year-old Pennsylvanian is youngest person in world to face life without parole

 

By Daniel Tencer
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 -- 8:46 pm
 
jordanbrownafp 11 year old Pennsylvanian is youngest person in world to face life without parole
Boy's claim of innocence prompted judge to try him as adult
A Pennsylvania boy who was 11 years old when he allegedly shot and killed his father's pregnant fiancee could find himself being the youngest person ever sentenced to life without parole.
Human rights campaigners have said the case shows the US' justice system to be unusually harsh towards juvenile offenders, and argue that a life sentence for the boy could violate international law.
Prosecutors allege that Jordan Brown, now 13, shot and killed 26-year-old Kenzie Houk as she slept in her home in Lawrence County, near Pittsburgh, in February, 2009. Houk was pregnant with a nearly full-term child at the time. Brown was charged with two counts of homicide.
Brown's lawyers on Tuesday argued an appeal against a judge's earlier decision to have the adolescent tried as an adult.
  Pennsylvania's laws on juvenile trials are among the least accommodating in the country, with juvenile suspects in homicide cases automatically tried as adults, unless a judge decides otherwise.
According to WTAE in Pittsburgh, the judge's original decision to try Brown as an adult was based on Brown's refusal to admit guilt. Brown's lawyers argued Wednesday that the decision violated his right to be presumed innocent, as well as his right to avoid self-incrimination.
Deborah Houk, the victim's mother, had little sympathy for Jordan Brown's plight.
"He knew what he was doing. He killed my baby," she said of Brown in an interview not long after the murders. The Houk family has put up a website attempting to dispel a growing movement seeking to defend Brown.
But human rights group Amnesty International said that Brown is the youngest person the international organization knows of anywhere in the world facing a life sentence without possibility of parole.
"It is shocking that anyone this young could face life imprisonment without parole, let alone in a country which labels itself as a progressive force for human rights," Susan Lee, Amnesty International's director for the Americas, said in a statement.
Amnesty notes that the US is one of only two countries in the world who have refused to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Somalia is the other country.
Jordan Brown is the youngest person known to Amnesty International to be currently at risk of being sentenced to life imprisonment with no parole. However, there are already at least 2,500 people in the US serving life imprisonment without parole for crimes committed when they were under 18.
According to the Guardian, Pennsylvania has 450 juveniles serving life sentences, more than any other state.
The Supreme Court has been moving in recent years towards greater protection for juvenile offenders. It ended the death penalty for people under 18 in 2005, and last year made homicide the only crime for which juveniles can be given a life sentence.
The Washington-based Sentencing Project told the Guardian that the US is the only country in the world that has juveniles serving life without parole. "That leads to only two conclusions: either kids in the US are far more violent than those in the rest of the world, or the US has developed uniquely harsh sentences."
Jordan Brown's father, whose fiancee was killed that night in 2009, agreed with the Sentencing Project, saying his son was too young to fully understand the consequences of his actions.
"Try to explain to a 12-year-old what the rest of your life means," he said. "It's incomprehensible for him."

 


Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!
 SHOCKING!!!: Juvenile teen sentenced for LIFE without parole based ONLY on murderer testimony!!!, 

No, it did not happen in Iran or Pakistan, or some third world hole...

This recently happened in Michigan, United States of America!!
Dupure was a B average student before she was arrested. She had dreams of specialising in the treatment of heart defects as a medical lab tech. She wasn't a party girl. She hadn't ever committed a crime.

Then she met William Blevins while working at a grocery store. The nineteen year old charmed her and they began to date.

It didn't take long for Dupure to become pregnant. Blevins was thrown out of his home shortly after that. On April 23,2004 they were looking for a motel room to rent. That was a date that changed Dupure's life forever.
The couple went to Big Boy for a bite to eat. What happens next differs depending on who you talk to.

Shirley Perry, 89, lived close to the Big Boy. She was the best friend of Dupure's great-aunt. The pair had been to her place helping her out with odd jobs and shopping.

The official story is that Dupure and Blevins went to Perry's to kill her for her money. They took a mere $30 from the elderly woman after assaulting her with a cooking pot and stabbing her to death. Dupure is alleged to have fetched the knife from Perry's kitchen to give to Blevin's to stab the woman.
That's the official story.

Dupure's story is drastically different. she states that she was never at Perry's apartment to begin with. That Blevins acted alone and that she was sitting at the Big Boy's waiting for her boyfriend to return oblivious to the murder.

Blevin's version mirrored Dupure's for quite some time. That is until he went on trial. The prosecution gave him the lesser charge of second degree murder for 'ratting' Dupure out.

Under cross-examination, he conceded to the jury, "I never had intentions to pin it on her until I ran out of options."


The only certainty of the case is that the one with the lighter sentence was the one who committed the murder. There was NO forensic evidence tying Dupure to the scene of the crime. Just the word of a man who stabbed an elderly woman to death hoping for a lighter sentence.

During the trial the prosecution relied on Blevin's testimony. The defense may have thought they had an ace in their deck with the testimony of a fellow jail inmate of Blevins who stated on the stand that Blevins had ulterior motives for implicating Dupure.

It didn't matter, in the end jurors took between five and six hours in deliberation before finding Nicole Ann Dupure, 19, guilty as charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing and strangling death of Shirley Perry, 89.

Dupure learned her fate when she entered prison. For a time she was on Prozac for depression.
The prison doctor put her on Prozac but she stopped taking it; as she puts it, "I'm depressed because I'm in this place, not because I'm depressed."


And what is the most shocking:
Technically, a child of any age could be incarcerated for life in Michigan for first-degree murder. Above the age of 14, suspects can be placed directly into the adult court system. At that point, even the judges' hands are tied. If a child is convicted in an adult court of a range of serious offences - taking part in a robbery that leads to murder, say - they must automatically be given life without parole, even where the judge feels that is inappropriate.

That's correct, in the state of Michigan a child is sentenced more harshly than an adult. Had Dupure had been 18 at the time of the crime she would not be facing a life in prison.(!!!)


Under UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, sentencing minors to life imprisonment is prohibited. The ONLY two countries worldwide that had not ratified this convention are Somalia (probably only because there is no government to do so), and self-proclaimed bastion of human rights and fair-trial, USA.

So lets recapitulate: Juvenile teen gets sentenced for LIFE without parole based ONLY on the testimony of a MURDERER, who was MOTIVATED to do so because otherwise he would get much harsher punishment? And the murderer gets lighter sentence than she?

How can a witness testimony of a murderer be enough to convince someone of any crime without any supporting evidence?
How can a witness testimony unsupported by any evidence even be taken into consideration by a serious court, when testimoner can clearly gain very much by giving false statement?
How can a juvenile teen be convicted for life based ONLY on the above?

I cant believe this, people. If this kind of thing happened in my country, I would be bombarding my representatives with DDoSes worth of letters, and organizing protests in the streets immidiatelly. Anyone here from Michigan?! If I wont see tomorrow in the news that all american ATS members are out there in the streets protesting for IMMIDIATE release of this girl, I would be seriously disappointed!!!

Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!
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How to Explain the Juvenile Court Process to a Juvenile

Help a juvenile understand the juvenile court process.
Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
If a minor breaks the law and police arrest him, the minor then enters the state's juvenile justice system. The juvenile justice system -- police, detention, court and corrections -- work cooperatively with the common goal of rehabilitating the juvenile to discourage him from committing future illegal acts. Because the juvenile system can be confusing, help the juvenile by explaining the court process thoroughly.
Difficulty: Moderate

Instructions

  1. 1
    Explain to the minor that the arrest was the first step of the juvenile system. At the time of the arrest, the police decide whether to confine the minor in juvenile detention or release him to a guardian. If released to a guardian, the minor will receive a hearing date notice in the mail. If detained, the minor will stay in a detention center until a detention hearing.
  2. 2
    Tell the juvenile about a detention hearing, if he is detained in a detention center. In this situation, a detention hearing must occur within 24 to 48 hours of the detention in order for a judge to hear the facts and decide whether the juvenile needs continued detention.
  3. 3
    Explain that an initial hearing will follow, in which the juvenile and his guardians will learn the formal charges. The judge will explain the juvenile's rights and will release him to a guardian's custody unless detention is necessary.
  4. 4
    Advise the juvenile that the period leading up to the hearing is when attorneys for the state and the defense perform discovery. This means that the attorneys learn about the incident, they read all available reports and statements written and compiled by the police and they formulate their cases. The attorney for the state prepares to prosecute the juvenile and the attorney for the juvenile prepares a defense.
  5. 5
    Explain the evidentiary hearing. This is the equivalent of an adult trial, except juvenile court does not have jury trials. The judge will listen to testimony, prosecution and defense and will then pronounce a sentence. Sentence may involve probation, community service, fines and detention, depending on the severity of the crime.

Read more: How to Explain the Juvenile Court Process to a Juvenile | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_7870256_explain-juvenile-court-process-juvenile.html#ixzz1Cnn2OqE9


What Happens in Juvenile Court?

The juvenile court system is designed to hold youthful offenders accountable.
law courts image by Peter Helin from Fotolia.com
The juvenile court system is in place to keep youthful offenders accountable and to ensure the safety of communities. Jurisdiction processes for juveniles vary from state to state, but the outcomes of such cases are often similar. Judges preside over most juvenile hearings.

    Probation

  1. A juvenile may be placed on either informal or formal probation. Informal probation consists of attending school or counseling, obeying curfews and other laws and listening to parents. Formal probation means the juvenile must report to a probation officer who monitors his activities, sets up treatment, such as substance abuse counseling, vocational classes or anger management, and reports to the court. The juvenile may also be required to pay fines or complete community service.
  2. Release

  3. The judge may opt to release the juvenile, usually to the custody of her parents, with no further sanctions. Usually, this is for minor infractions, such as curfew violation.
  4. Adult Court

  5. The juvenile case may be transferred to adult court depending on the severity of the crime and the age of the offender. For example, Florida permits transfer of 14-year-old children to adult court, and anyone charged with a capital offense may also be tried as an adult, regardless of age.
  6. Detention

  7. The judge can sentence the juvenile to a detention facility or to a residential treatment facility for an unspecified length of time.

Read more: What Happens in Juvenile Court? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_7615633_happens-juvenile-court.html#ixzz1CnnBWscP


Juvenile Justice & Criminal Waivers

The idea of juvenile justice is relatively new, as are the idea of juvenile waivers.
Justice image by MVit from Fotolia.com
While it might be considered common practice to treat juveniles and adults differently as regards crime these days, this is a relatively new, legal development. The first juvenile court in America was founded in the year 1899, and for most of history before that juveniles were treated the same as adults. Adult waivers are what are issued to push juveniles into an adult court, essentially duplicating the spirit of how things used to be.

    Waiver

  1. A juvenile justice waiver is a document that's issued when a juvenile is taken out of the juvenile justice system and put into the adult court system. This is what happens when you hear that a juvenile offender will be tried as an adult.
  2. Crimes

  3. Juvenile justice waivers aren't issued for just any sort of crime committed by a juvenile offender. The crime that the juvenile committed should be egregious, according to Findlaw.com, such as murder, rape, or serial commission of crimes deemed by the court to be heinous in nature.
  4. Age

  5. Even with these criminal waivers there are still age limits that a juvenile must meet before he can be remanded to a higher court. In many states this limit is 17 or 18 years old, but some states go as low as 14 years old according to Findlaw.com. The nature of age and crime is an area of hot dispute, especially when people have to decide whether a 12 or 13 year old offender had the same malice and capability to truly understand what she was doing as a 27 or 30 year old offender would.
  6. Rights

  7. Juvenile offenders have more rights and protections than adult offenders do. This is part of the reason that juvenile justice waivers are given in many cases. If the crime is bad enough that the juvenile should be tried as an adult, then doing so strips away many protections that juveniles have regarding search and seizure, admission of guilt, and the required presence of the juvenile's parents as well as a lawyer.
  8. Exclusion

  9. There are 28 states in the U.S. (as of 1997) where certain crimes are not allowed to be tried at a juvenile court level. While a hearing may still take place for a juvenile waiver to go to the higher court, crimes like first degree murder may not be tried in some juvenile courts at all. Once again these crimes tend to be the more egregious variety of criminal offenses.

Read more: Juvenile Justice & Criminal Waivers | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6684937_juvenile-justice-criminal-waivers.html#ixzz1CnnI3QHD

Juvenile Detention Center Information

Juveniles in trouble.
les menottes image by lucastor from Fotolia.com
A juvenile detention center is a residential facility that is the result of a youth being found guilty of an offense and can also happen after an arrest or during court proceedings. Some cases can result in the case being transferred to criminal court, although this is in only a few cases.

    Average Age of Juveniles in Detention Centers

  1. The juvenile offender population comprises 85 percent mails and 15 percent females, according to the office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The average age for first-time delinquency is 15.2 years of age and they usually entered the system before age 14. The average age for violent juvenile offenders is 15.8 years of age
  2. Nonviolent Offenses

  3. Sixty-four percent of the juvenile population in detention centers is there for nonviolent offenses. The males made up a majority of this population at 86.1 percent and the female offenders, 13.9 percent, according to OJJDP.
  4. Violent Offenses

  5. Thirty-six percent of the juvenile population in detention centers is there for violent offenses. The males constituted 87.5 percent of these offenders and female offenders 12.5 percent, according to OJJDP. Most facilities contain a mix of violent and nonviolent offenders.
  6. Detained vs. Committed

  7. Detained offenders are those that awaiting adjudication, disposition or placement elsewhere. Committed offenders are those who have been held by court orders. Some of these offenders are not held by juvenile but, criminal courts. Thirty-four percent of committed and less than 4 percent of detained offenders remain in placement six months after admission. On average offenders stay 147 days after admission, according to OJJDP.
  8. Disadvantages to Arrangement

  9. The juvenile justice system takes on a very big task when admitting youth into a residential facility. It has to provide mental health care, substance abuse, education, dental health, medical health and other miscellaneous factors. Also, this situation breaks up families, routines, regular education and interrupts the normal life of the youth.

Read more: Juvenile Detention Center Information | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6130379_juvenile-detention-center-information.html#ixzz1CnnetmZT


Juvenile Justice Projects

  1. Many states have created juvenile justice projects to help their legislature reform the justice system. This includes improving conditions in detention centers, continuing to provide education to detained youths, counseling youths and parents and shifting the focus of juvenile justice from punishment to rehabilitation.
  2. Louisiana's Project

  3. Louisiana's juvenile justice project is focused on giving the state's youth the opportunity to thrive and become an important member of the community. The project achieves its mission by putting education first. The project, through Schools First, has improved school districts' discipline policies, reducing the incidents of suspension and expulsion and creating in-school suspension programs that allow students requiring discipline to still complete daily class work during the period of suspension, instead of being forced to stay home. The juvenile justice project is also believes that detaining youth offenders in prison damages the youth, and instead is attempting to find alternatives to incarceration. The project's mission is to find community-based programs that provide treatment and rehabilitation for youth offenders.
  4. Minnesota's Project

  5. Minnesota's PACER Center is an advocate for children with disabilities and has created a juvenile justice project that focuses on children with disabilities. Many children in detention facilities have a disability or mental health issue. PACER's juvenile justice center is committed to protecting the rights and needs of those children by educating police officers and courts about disabilities and mental health issues. Education is also an important part of the project, and PACER works to make sure that even children in correctional facilities are still provided with an education.
  6. California's Los Angeles Project

  7. This juvenile justice project was by the Learning Rights Law Center and UCLA. The program was created because Los Angeles County has the highest rate of youth incarceration and the county is now committed to creating community-based alternatives to incarceration. The project is seeking alternatives to the punishment aspect of incarceration and focuses on rehabilitating youth offenders and prevention by counseling at-risk youths.
  8. New York's Project

  9. The Correctional Association started New York's juvenile justice project in 1997. Two of the newest missions for the project are ending the use of excessive force on youths in detention facilities and ending violence perpetrated against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth in those facilities. Like other juvenile justice projects, the Correctional Association is also focused on finding alternatives for detention and incarceration. Punishment is often not enough to deter repeat offenders; it is rehabilitation and community programs that help youth offenders and at-risk youths become successful members of society.

Read more: Juvenile Justice Projects | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6021160_juvenile-justice-projects.html#ixzz1CnnqDBcM









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