Cases

In the Matter of K.H.
The San Antonio Court of Appeals held that a Department of Family and Protective Services (“CPS”) worker did not act in tandem with police to investigate and gather evidence, and, as a result, no custodial interrogation of the offender occurred, where the CPS worker contacted the offender, without threat, to request an interview, where the offender’s mother drove him and his sister to the interview, where the offender’s mother allowed him to be interviewed, where the CPS worker testified that the purpose of the offender’s visit to her office was to interview him concerning allegations of sexual abuse made about him and to give the offender a chance to respond and to find out if the offender was a sexual abuse victim, and where there is no evidence that the caseworker was in her perception or in reality acting with the police. To read this opinion, go to: http://www.juvenilelaw.org/CaseSummaries2006/06-1-21B.HTM. In the Matter of K.H., 2005 Tex. App. LEXIS 10810 (Tx. App. 2005). United States v. David A. The United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit, affirmed the granting of the government’s motion to transfer the offender to adult court over the offender’s challenges of: his statutory speedy trial rights, where the government's filing of the transfer motion tolled those rights; procedural records requirements, where the government's good faith search for the juvenile's records satisfied the federal law requirement that a juvenile shall not be transferred to adult prosecution until any prior juvenile records of such juvenile have been received by the court; the propriety of his mandatory transfer, where the juvenile's prior juvenile delinquency adjudication met the federal law’s requirement that the juvenile had been previously “found guilty of an act which if committed by an adult would have been one of the offenses set forth” by the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act; and the sufficiency of the evidence against him, where the government showed by a preponderance of the evidence that the juvenile had a prior juvenile delinquency adjudication by submitting certified documents that stemmed from that adjudication, and where the juvenile failed to assert any contradictory evidence. United States v. David A., 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 2684 (1st Cir. 2006).

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News Articles
Prevention
According to unpublished data in a study published last year in Child Maltreatment, 35 percent of the more than 2000 children surveyed had been “hit or attacked” by a sibling, with more than 20 percent of those attacks comprising repeat attacks and/or involving visible physical injuries and/or weapons. According to the lead author of the study, Dr. David Finkelhor, the sibling attacks were of the same frequency regardless of the race and socioeconomic group of the children. Although studies that examine sibling abuse are rare, those that do exist reveal that such abuse can have a strong negative effect on the victim sibling, one that can last into adulthood. Unpublished data from the aforementioned study suggests that victim siblings ages 2 to 9 are twice as likely as other children their age to experience sleeplessness, crying spells, a fear of the dark, thoughts of suicide, and other symptoms of trauma, anxiety and depression. In another study, interviews with adults who suffered sibling abuse as children brought forth anecdotal evidence of this abuse leading to confrontation avoidance and nervousness about physical intimidation. Katy Butler, “Beyond Rivalry, a Hidden World of Sibling Violence,” The New York Times, February 28, 2006, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/28/health/28sibl.html?_r=2&pagewanted=print&oref=slogi n&oref=slogin. To access the study (payment required), go to: http://cmx.sagepub.com/cgi/search?sortspec=relevance&author1=&fulltext=%22hit+or+attac ked%22+and+sibling&pubdate_year=2005&volume=&firstpage=.

AN UNHEALTHY RIVALRY

According to gang experts, a youth who wants to leave a gang is often “jumped-out” of a gang; that is, he is administered a beating, with his consent, by a group of members of the gang. However, if said youth brings members of a rival gang to his jumping-out, this is considered disrespectful. Perhaps that is why, when a California youth brought two friends to his jumping-out, friends that were members of the gang he was about to join, those friends were fatally shot when they tried to intervene in the ritual beating. Gang experts say that while switching gangs and jumping-out is common, the beating rarely ends in fatal violence. Stacia Glenn, “Rival Gang Violence Kills Two in ‘Jump-Out,’” The San Bernadino Sun, February 14, 2006, http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_3507022. Intervention

A DEADLY TRANSITION

In the past month, United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has announced two significant youth-related initiatives. Through Project Safe Childhood, federal, state, and local law enforcement officials will partner to protect children who use the Internet. These officials will increase and coordinate their efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to train their colleagues, along with the community, about these cases and the problem of online sexual predators. The new Anti-Gang Initiative, part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, brings with it funding that will be used to initiate collaboration among all levels of law enforcement, to increase federal firearms prosecutions, and to fund community prevention efforts.

TAKING STEPS

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“Attorney General Gonzales Announces Project Safe Child Initiative,” OJJDP website, February 21, 2006, http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/. “Attorney General Gonzales Unveils Plan to Combat Gang Violence,” OJJDP website, February 27, 2006, http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/.

In the early 1990’s, Boston clergy and police responded to a surge in youth violence with Operation Ceasefire, an initiative that included, among other activities, the creation of the Boston TenPoint Coalition, a group of churches and faith-based organizations created to respond to this violence. Now, that coalition is again collaborating with Boston police in the hopes that a new initiative will repeat the success of Operation Ceasefire in stopping another wave of youth violence. The TenPoint Coalition has launched a drive to recruit, train, and deploy 1000 volunteers, who will visit the neighborhoods and homes where at-risk youth live, and will mentor these youth. Meanwhile, other volunteers will lobby politicians for more state funding for youth work and for witness protection. One of the areas that neighborhood volunteers will try to address is reentry, as current programs in Boston reach less than 10 percent of the offenders reentering these communities. The volunteers will also focus on creating and strengthening relationships with residents of these neighborhoods in the hopes of increasing public trust in police, and effecting more identifications and arrests of violent crime suspects. Charles A. Radin, “Ministers Launch Drive to Combat Youth Crime,” The Boston Globe, February 9, 2006, http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/02/09/ministers_launch_driv e_to_combat_youth_crime/.

A WELCOME INVASION

Prosecution
In New Hampshire and a handful of other states, a minor can be arrested for “internal possession” of alcohol, “physical indicia of consumption of alcohol,” or “possession by consumption;” that is, where there is only evidence that the minor has drinks in his or her system. The problems with proving the violation of more common laws against the possession and consumption of alcohol – as minors often drop their drinks and run at the first sight of police – has, many argue, created the need for a law where police need only prove that a minor is intoxicated, and not how or when that intoxication occurred. In New Hampshire, internal possession violations, which comprise about half of the state’s underage-alcohol possession cases, are on the same level as traffic violations; however, they bring with them a $300 fine and the potential loss of a driver’s license. New Hampshire legislators are trying to reduce the level of evidence required for an internal possession charge from that of evidence of intoxication to merely that of any consumption. Critics of such laws argue that shaping the definition of “possession” to encompass something that a police officer cannot see is to take the definition too far, and that a law like New Hampshire’s that focuses (for now) on intoxication poses problems, because while getting drunk is voluntary, being drunk, some contend, is not. David A. Fahrenthold, “In N.H., a Beer in the Belly Can Get Youths Arrested,” The Washington Post, February 5, 2006, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2006/02/04/AR2006020400821_pf.html.

YES, BUT WHAT IS NINE-TENTHS OF POSSESSION?

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Lionel Tate was the youngest person in the United States sentenced to life without parole. After being convicted of first degree murder for killing his 6-year-old playmate at age 12, he was released and, under a plea agreement, given probation when an appeals court overturned his conviction because he was not given a competency hearing before or during the trial. Since his release, Tate has been given five additional years of probation for being caught with a knife. Now, Tate has pled guilty to armed robbery after an incident last May in which, according to “overwhelming” evidence (his attorney says), he pulled a gun on a pizza delivery man. Because of this new plea bargain, Tate has been spared from a potential life sentence for violating his original probation, and could get 10 to 30 years in prison at his sentencing hearing in April. “Second Chance Ends with Guilty Plea,” CNN website, March 1, 2006, http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/03/01/lionel.tate.ap/index.html.

NO MORE CHANCES…

Reports/Guides
Updates to OJJDP’s Statistical Briefing Book
OJJDP announces updates to the data analysis tools in its Statistical Briefing Book. The data analysis tools to which OJJDP has made updates are the following: Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement Databook, which provides access to national and state data that detail the characteristics of juvenile offenders in residential placement facilities; Easy Access to the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports: 1980-2003, which provides access to more than 20 years of national and state data that detail the characteristics of homicide victims and offenders; and Easy Access to Juvenile Populations: 1990-2004, which provides access to 15 years of national, state, and county population data. To access the OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book, go to: http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/ojstatbb/.

This bulletin, part of OJJDP’s Crimes Against Children series and written by, among others, Dr. David Finkelhor (of the sibling violence study discussed above), introduces the idea that a juvenile victim justice system exists. It outlines the significant elements of such a system and explains how cases move through it. To read this bulletin, go to: http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/210951.pdf.

“How the Justice System Responds to Juvenile Victims: A Comprehensive Model”

This latest volume in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Pathways to Detention Reform includes chapters on girls’ needs, systemic issues, promising practices and gender bias, among other subjects. To access this report, go to: http://www.aecf.org/publications/data/jdai_pathways_girls.pdf.

“Detention Reform and Girls – Challenges and Solutions”

Upcoming Events:
NJJPC Trainings and Conferences
• National Conference on Juvenile Justice, Denver, Colorado, March 26-29, 2006.

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Tough Cases: Advanced Training for Juvenile Court Prosecutors, Denver, Colorado, March 26-27, 2006. Performance Measures for the Juvenile Justice System, Denver, Colorado, March 25, 2006. JumpStart: Training for Newly Assigned Juvenile Prosecutors, Newport, Rhode Island, April 26-28, 2006. Prosecutorial Leadership with Scarce Resources: Policy Innovation, Accountability, and Performance Measures for Juvenile Justice Systems, Washington, D.C. Metro Area, September 2006.

For more information on NJJPC training events go to: http://www.ndaaapri.org/education/ndaa/juvenile_justice_training_schedule.html.

Additional Trainings and Conferences
• The Office of National Drug Control Policy is sponsoring regional summits on student drug testing. The remaining summits are as follows: Falls Church, Virginia, March 14, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 25. To access information and register online, go to: http://www.ondcp.gov/news/press05/122805.html. There is no fee to attend the summits. Youth Crime Watch of America: “National Youth Crime Prevention Conference and International Forum,” Ogden, Utah, March 20-23, 2006. To access information and register online, go to: http://www.ycwa.org/youthcon/index.html. National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ): “Enhancing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases.” Austin, Texas, April 2-5, 2006. To access information and register online, go to: http://www.ncjfcj.org/content/view/285/378/. NCJFCJ: “Graduated Sanctions in Juvenile Justice: A National Training,” May 7-10, 2006, Las Vegas, Nevada. To access information and register online, http://www.ncjfcj.org/content/view/285/378/. NCJFCJ, Permanency Planning for Children Department (PPCD): “Child Abuse and Neglect Institute: The Role of the Judge.” Reno, Nevada, June 4-8, 2006. To access information and register online, go to: http://www.ncjfcj.org/content/view/285/378/. NCJFCJ: 69th Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 16-19, 2006. To access more information, go to: http://www.ncjfcj.org/content/view/285/378/.

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This information is offered for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. This project was supported by Award No. 2002-MU-MU-0003 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the United States Department of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the National District Attorneys Association, or the American Prosecutors Research Institute.

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