The juvenile system of justice is criticized for generally neglecting to provide sufficient programs for rehabilitation of wayward youth. In some well-known cases, judicial officers abused the system for monetary gain by wrongly jailing many juveniles. In New Jersey, however, there is one new pilot program that intends to assist court-involved youth to return to school upon reentry, and in the process, to help alleviate the incidence of juvenile crime and rates of recidivism.
Juvenile Crimes Archives
The criminal justice system pertaining to juveniles is set up to protect the public from anti-social juvenile behavior. At the same time, it attempts to give the juvenile a chance to be tried and rehabilitated in an environment less harsh than the adult system. Although this framework in New Jersey and other states primarily anticipates controlling juvenile offenses directed toward society, in recent years there's been a rising tide of offenses committed by juveniles against their own family members.
The expungement of a person's adult criminal record can be a life-saver for one who has been crime-free for many years and is clearly rehabilitated. For a person seeking expungement that also has a juvenile record, there appears to be little societal benefit in using a person's long-past juvenile mistakes against him. Nevertheless, a New Jersey county court recently refused to expunge a man's 18-year old adult record for burglary and receiving stolen property because he had also committed several juvenile offenses when he was a minor.
In New Jersey, two people were arrested for attempted robbery, including a 17-year-old. It's alleged that a 44-year-old male was with the juvenile while attempting to hold up a CITGO Station. It's believed that the two suspects were also involved with other armed robberies in the New Jersey area. Since the 17-year-old's case is considered a juvenile crime, his situation will likely be handled much differently than that of the adult male.
Just as with crimes committed by adults, crimes committed by juveniles may include a range of severity from mischief that results in slight damage or minor injury to heinous crimes that result in death or serious injury. One New Jersey county is trying an alternative to sending juvenile offenders to detention centers. Instead, an offender who commits a minor juvenile crime may be sent to a private home to live with a foster family who has been trained to care for those with behavioral issues.
All kids make poor decisions at some point in their lives. Usually these do not rise to the level of criminal charges in court, but when they do, what level of punishment is appropriate when a conviction is obtained? The New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled on this issue, making it more difficult for prosecutors to try juveniles as adults.
On March 6, 2012, an unnamed teenager allegedly assaulted a 15-year old Morristown High School freshman, Lennon Baldwin, at Morristown High School.
On June 6, 2011, former Saint Mary's high school football star, Quadree Hubbard, and seven (7) other juveniles were arrested in Paterson, New Jersey, after police allegedly saw them around a duffel bag, which contained a shot gun. No details regarding the stop and search were disclosed.
What used to be considered a child's toy now requires legal documentation to use or purchase. A juvenile has been charged with a number of New Jersey crimes for allegedly firing a BB gun into school windows. The police who made the arrest point to safety concerns as the reason for the serious charges. With the case now transferred to the Ocean County Juvenile Court for review as a juvenile crime, the boy has been released into his mother's custody.
Bullying of students and the subsequent suicides of those bullied have been prevalent in the news over the last few years. When young people bully one another, the decision must be made whether to try them as adults or to try them for a juvenile crime. These decisions and any sentencing resulting from convictions are often decided based upon the extent of participation in the crime by each individual charged with the crime.