Some might say the numbers on juvenile crime are going down here in California. Although that might be true overall, some new statistics on child arrests in Stockton suggest otherwise. What accounts for the difference?
California Juvenile Arrests
According to a recent report prepared by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, there is a significant drop in the number of children charged with crimes. This is particularly true of children under the age of twelve. Although the preteen population itself has increased substantially, a smaller percentage of this group have been arrested. The greatest decline is in the number of juvenile charges filed against children under age ten.
Why is there a decline? According to the study, it is not because law enforcement officials have decided to turn their heads. It is because children are becoming better educated about the risks associated with doing something against the law. Young people are staying in school longer and addressing their issues. This does not mean that juvenile crime has disappeared. Unfortunately, it is still a reality.
Stockton, an Exception
Unfortunately, not all child offender numbers have dwindled. In Stockton, the number of juvenile arrests has actually increased. What’s so special about Stockton to make it the exception? Stockton school districts are unique in that school authorities may arrest juvenile offenders. San Bernardino is the only other district that allows district personnel to detain students for illegal behavior.
Juveniles under the age of ten who live in Stockton only account for one percent of the state’s same aged population. Yet, twenty six percent of California’s youngest detainees hail from Stockton. Nearly ninety percent of the youngsters were arrested by school officials. This means that law enforcement was only involved in a small percentage of the cases. School districts were given arrest authority after five children were shot in a Stockton schoolyard in 1989.
Juvenile Criminal Defense
Regardless of the age of the child, it is important to secure a skilled criminal defense lawyer. Depending on the crime, sentencing can be negotiated to a short stay in Juvenile Hall. As an attorney who cares about his clients, Gurjit Srai expands his focus beyond the courtroom. Unfortunately, juvenile crime can be a preliminary indicator of the future.
Rehabilitation is a huge part of the juvenile justice system. Rather than concentrating on punishment, there is a push to eliminate further criminal activity. Unfortunately, statistics show that many youthful offenders are later arrested as adults. The Srai Law Office works with young clients and their families to help bring about change.
If your child has been accused of a crime, you need an attorney familiar with juvenile criminal defense. Call us for an appointment to discuss the circumstances of your case.