Since the beginning of time, kids have always rebelled from their parents. Whether it is underage drinking or getting a tattoo without their parent’s consent, It is almost a rite of passage. But there is a huge difference between simply rebelling and committing a violent crime. In just the past year, Utah has seen a huge spike in violent crimes committed by young people. It is a disturbing trend that seems to be getting worse. But what are the reasons? What are the solutions for juvenile crime?
It was a crime that shocked the West Valley City community. Back on November 6, 2016, West Valley police officer Cody Brotherson was killed after trying to help his fellow officers stop a fleeing stolen vehicle. The suspects swerved directly at the defenseless officer. Even more shocking, it was discovered the three suspects were all teenagers ages 15 and 14. Sadly, all three suspects had prior arrest records.
Why The Rise of Teen Violence?
Brotherson’s death was just one of several high-profiled violent crimes committed by teens throughout Utah during a six-month period. There was a time when juvenile crime in Salt Lake City was blamed on the influence of music, such as heavy metal and gangsta rap lyrics or violent video games. But the problem is much more complex. One factor is the availability of guns. Another is the constant exposure to violence through the media–particularly the Internet. In addition to television, kids can watch violent videos from anywhere on a cell phone or on their computer at home. In far too many cases, there is very little parental supervision. Many gangs throughout Utah have even used the Internet to recruit new members. In addition to Youtube videos, there is the constant use of social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When gang members constantly brag about their criminal activity, suddenly bringing a knife or gun to school can almost sound normal to a teen.
The Mounting Challenges of Utah’s Juvenile Justice System
A recent report conducted by the state’s Juvenile Justice Services produced some alarming statistics. Nearly 12,000 children between the ages of 11 and 18 require substance abuse treatment. Close to 99,000 children in Utah suffer from a mental disorder. But the scariest statistic of all is that one in five young people suffer from behavioral, mental and emotional disorders. Yet, only 20 percent of those troubled youngsters receive proper treatment.
Many blame the structure of Utah’s current Utah juvenile justice system. Among the biggest complaints is the lack of structure or standards for treatment. Also, far too many first-time juvenile crime offenders charged with misdemeanors are placed in juvenile detention centers with troubled teens who have committed more serious violent crimes. Whether it is due to a lack of funding or proper structure, Utah’s juvenile justice system is continuing to fail.
Why You Need a West Valley City Juvenile Crimes Attorney
It can be a parent’s worst nightmare. When a child is arrested and charged for committing a violent crime, it can be devastating for everyone involved. Just one arrest can affect their entire future. It is important to fight these charges immediately and aggressively. The Violent Crimes attorney at White & Matern, PLLC have successfully represented countless parents and their troubled teens during this difficult time. Their goal is to help place children and their parent in the best position to succeed by protecting their rights and always looking after their best interest. To learn more, contact their West Valley City law office today and schedule a free initial consultation.