Articles Tagged with juvenile arrest

The final phase of San Diego County’s $205 million construction for a juvenile detention center has been approved. San Diego supervisors voted for $75 million to go to the transition center without any dissent. The new facility will be a replacement for the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility, which was erected in 1954. The supervisors supported the construction of the new facility because it will be better equipped to house important therapeutic services that are meant to help youngsters who got caught up in the criminal justice system. By minimizing punitive responses to these younger individuals and favoring more intrinsic healing methods, it is believed that these young people’s prospects will be improved.

In November, a portion of the facility will open with 96 beds available to minors who were charged with serious offenses. When the second and third phase of construction is completed, 72 to 96 beds will be open for minors. There will be a focus on understanding the children’s past trauma and the way those experiences may have been a reason for the child’s criminal behavior.

The Impact of Incarceration on Juveniles

Most of the juveniles who make mistakes and are arrested will not be convicted. For others who have the misfortune of being incarcerated for crimes committed, there is going to be an increased risk for these young people to be more vulnerable to many negative life and health outcomes. The system can affect minors in many ways including the development of mental health conditions, the inability to finish school as well as struggles to find jobs and earn a living. Ultimately, these children often re-engage in criminal acts and are sent back to jail. According to studies that examine trends with youths that are tangled up in the juvenile justice system, the longer a young person is behind bars the more likely that when they become adults they will have problems with their physical and mental health.

A large portion of youth that get into trouble with the law are already suffering from physical and mental health issues. Of all the children going into the juvenile system, 46% are in need of emergency medical care while 70% of the population that is incarcerated are afflicted with one or more mental health conditions. A shared factor amongst these young people is that almost all of them were victims of trauma. When a child who has already been devastated with horrendous life experiences is put into the juvenile justice system, their distress amplifies. It becomes a challenging task to help them overcome their anguish so that they can heal and move forward. Continue reading

According to a report by the Center for Public Integrity, there have been tens of thousands of questionable juvenile arrests that have occurred throughout San Bernardino County in the last decade. The arrests were so numerous in the Inland Empire that they surpassed arrests of juveniles by municipal police in some of California’s biggest cities such as Sacramento, Oakland, and San Francisco. Specifically, the San Bernardino City Unified School District has its own police department staffed with 28 cops, eight support staff, and more than 50 campus security officers trained in handcuffing and baton use.

Between 2005 and 2014, the department made over 30,000 arrests of school children, 10 times the national rate of juvenile arrests. While the area has a reputation for high levels of youth-gang crime, only 9% of those arrests were for alleged felonies. Instead, the vast majority of arrests were for minors violating city ordinances such as graffiti violations or daytime curfews, and 9,900 were for allegations of disturbing the peace. This is about a third of all the arrests made.

Disturbing the peace is a frequent catch-all that is used when police justify an arrest as ‘necessary for the public safety.’ This covers behavior ranging from disruptive, loud behavior, to school fights. According to the report, the San Bernardino area is also home to more some of the most academically vulnerable demographics in the state – low income, black, and Latino minorities, making this trend extremely disturbing.

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