Recent Posts in Juvenile Crime Category

  • Can Juveniles Waive Rights?

    An article in the Los Angeles Times highlights an increasing national debate about whether juveniles are fit to waive their rights when questioned by police. The article makes a number of points, including whether juveniles can make decisions while fully understanding the long-term consequences. A study by a UVA Ph.D. student found that “More than 90 percent of juvenile suspects waive their ...
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  • The Criminalization of School Discipline

    Over the past several years there has been an increasing trend toward the criminalization of school discipline. That’s a fancy way of saying that getting in trouble in school often results in criminal charges, instead of just being handled by the school. This happens in part due to having police officers in school, but it’s also due to the seriousness with which schools, school administrators and ...
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  • Juvenile Crime News: "Game" Leads to Arrest

    This week a 17-year-old was arrested in California after threatening letters and a suspicious object were found on an elementary school campus. The letters invited school officials to “play a game,” similar to horror movie plots. Officials say the object contained sodium ferrocyanide, a substance found in commercial products such as table salt and used in film processing. The investigation led to ...
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  • Juvenile Crime News: Curfews Ineffective

    A recent article out of Albuquerque, NM highlights a growing trend — that violent juvenile crime isn’t impacted by curfews. According to the report, citing FBI stats, juvenile crime nationwide sees spikes in the morning, then increases significantly in the afternoons when school lets out. Crime goes down throughout the evening hours when curfews are typically enacted in an attempt to reduce crime. ...
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  • End of School: A Dangerous Time for Students

    The end of school and start of summer is one of the most dangerous times for high school students. Their minds are already on summer and college, their first jobs or upcoming military service. The atmosphere is contagious and horseplay and joking runs rampant — that’s dangerous because things can quickly get out of hand and escalate. What many teens forget is there are consequences for actions. ...
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  • Real or Fake? Virginia Beach Seminar Will Focus on Airsoft and Toy Guns

    On June 10 the Virginia Beach Police Department is hosting a seminar to educate people about the dangers of children playing with Airsoft pellet guns. The department’s goal is to address parents and caregivers about ways to keep children safe, since the air-powered guns look so realistic. Many adults, including officers, have difficulty identifying the guns as toys and the department will provide ...
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  • Are Juvenile Arrests on the Decline in TN?

    New Approach to Juvenile Offenders We recently came across an article from Chattanooga, TN, which stated that juvenile arrest have dropped 60% in the past five years. According to the article, the decline is the result of a shift in juvenile justice away from punitive, arrest-focused work and toward ways of dealing with juvenile offenders “that don’t automatically end with minors in handcuffs. The ...
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  • Juvenile Defense News: Student Charged with Taking Sword to School

    A local high school student was recently charged with taking a samurai sword to school on the bus. A situation that is all too familiar in the juvenile justice system. Teenagers often make decisions that aren’t well thought out, and when young egos get involved with pride of ownership, what started as a simple “show-and-tell” idea for friends, becomes a legal nightmare. While we’re not sure of the ...
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  • Sending Students to Police & Courts and Triple the National Rate

    The Center for Public Integrity Study A study by the Center for Public Integrity found that Virginia schools send students to the police and court system at almost triple the national rate. The report and subsequent news articles suggest that children are being pushed into the criminal justice system for actions that historically have been handled by the schools internally. The report leads with a ...
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  • Do Scared Straight Juvenile Programs Work?

    A recent article in The Register-Herald in West Virginia addresses Scared Straight programs and whether they are effective in helping prevent juvenile crime. The theory is that when juveniles are exposed to adult jails and see just how harsh prison life can be, they are less likely to be involved in criminal activity. The programs are sometimes criticized for achieving mixed results. The article ...
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  • Guns in Schools

    Guns are fascinating to kids and regardless of your views on gun control and gun ownership, the reality is young boys and girls are curious about guns. For many teens, and even middle-schoolers, access to guns is easier than you may think, whether in your home, or someone else’s. If there is a gun in the house, chances are the kids know where it is, and how to get to it. Gun safes and trigger ...
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  • Juvenile Criminal Defense News: How to Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline

    This week there’s a great article in the Harvard Political Review about the impacts of jailing juvenile offenders, and how incarceration at a young age increases the risk of future prison time. The article cites both the literal costs ($240.99 per day cost to taxpayers) and the hidden costs, such as emotional and mental duress, and behavioral problems. The article makes a strong case for earlier ...
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  • Juvenile Criminal Defense News: Avoiding the Permanent Stain of Juvenile Crime Record

    A Proposal in the Florida Senate would expand that state’s law to offer amnesty to repeat juvenile offenders for subsequent nonviolent crimes. It’s an interesting approach that would be paired with services for the juveniles to help improve their lives ( read the full article, here ). For many juveniles, a criminal conviction can start a downward spiral that leads to a future of problem behavior ...
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  • What to do When Your Holiday Cheer Gets Out of Hand

    The holidays are a wonderful time, gathering friends and family. People have extra time off work, students are out of school and college, there are plenty of parties, and lots to celebrate. Have You Been Naughty or Nice? It’s easy for things to get carried away just a little too much. The after-work gathering with colleagues results in one drink too many; the roughhousing turns into a real fight; ...
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  • Is Shoplifting a Crime?

    Shoplifting crimes are often impulse-control issues, rather than premeditated acts of crime. Those charged with shoplifting will sometimes talk about the crime more like an illness than a conscious decision to steal. They don’t see themselves as criminals and often immediately regret the behavior, but it went too far. Shoplifting is on the rise, and all too often it becomes more noticeable during ...
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  • When Bullying Victims Fight Back

    Years ago the advice victims of bullying were likely to receive included things like “punch him in the nose, then he’ll stop bothering you.” Today, taking that action could result in a child facing criminal assault charges, and school suspension or expulsion. A recent ​article in an Ohio newspaper reported on a juvenile who is facing felonious assault charges after allegedly striking a classmate ...
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  • Juvenile Crimes Can Impact School Success

    A recent article in The Virginian-Pilot about students accused of crimes brings to mind two important things parents need to know: First, do you know what crimes your child’s school considers serious enough to send him/her to an alternative school? Second, did you know that the school administrators have a tremendous amount of discretion as to the decision that will impact your child’s future? As ...
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  • Do I Really Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?

    Even if you have not committed a crime, you must talk with a criminal defense attorneyimmediately. Innocent people are charged and sometimes convicted of crimes they did not commit more often than you think. My best advice is to ALWAYS seek legal counsel before you are interviewed by the police for a criminal investigation. Remember, the officer’s job is to make an arrest for each crime that ...
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  • Teens Face Challenges Every Day Away From Your Home

    It’s a lazy summer afternoon and your teenage daughter is visiting her best friend’s house. Unknown to you, the father of your daughter’s best friend keeps a loaded gun in a drawer in the kitchen because of previous break in. They find the loaded gun in the house and your daughter accidentally shoots her friend. In an instant, a fun summer vacation becomes a tragedy with potentially life changing ...
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  • Teenage Pranks Can Have Serious Consequences

    From an Innocent Prank to Felony Charges As a former Virginia Beach police officer, I have too often seen what can happen when seemingly innocent teenage pranks turn into felony arrests. We know the summer can be boring for teens who haven’t found jobs, aren’t in summer school, or don’t have activities to keep them busy. Imagine you are the proud parent or grandparent of an honor-roll student who ...
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