Youth Act in D.C. gives all but juvenile registrants a break

In the D.C. judicial system, there is a second chance act that is designed to give those juveniles who have been accused of committing non-sexual crimes a second chance.  Or third.  Or fourth.  Or fifth.

When granted by a judge, the Youth Act involves expungement of records, lighter jail time or probationary periods being subsituted for jail time.

However, it is back firing.  A majority of these youths have created controversy by committing higher crimes when given another chance under  the Youth Act.  It has created unsafe communities as a majority of these juveniles are committing these crimes(murder, assualt, stealing, etc.) on their own turf; the communities they are released into.

There is no tracking system to see how these juveniles are reintegrating and faring due to the nature of the Youth Act when executed.  The only reason any data is avaible is when the “offender” commits another  crime and winds up back in the system.  Apparently, this is happening at an alarming rate, showing that the reoffense rate is very high for these juveniles.

Yet, the Youth Act is still being pushed as an act that makes sense and continued to be granted, despite the criticisms of the communities harmed and the alarming reoffense rate.

Because, kids will be kids.

Unless your a juvenile charged with a sex crime.  Then you’re given no understandings and you’re given between 10 years to a lifetime on the public registry. The registry where your entire life can be seen by anyone.  You can’t get a new phone or a driver’s license without notifying the authorities, you can’t create another email address or linkedin or twitter account without notifying the authorities, you can’t dye your hair without notifying authorities, you can’t live within 1,000 or 2,000 feet from a park or playground or daycare, or be around your younger siblings or family; among so many other harsh restrictions.

And the kicker?  Data shows registrants have the lowest reoffense rate.  It is leagues lower than the reoffense rate for the non-sexual offenders who have been granted protection under the Youth Act.  You know, those juveniles who have no tracking system yet, are creating havoc in their communities by murdering, stealing, mugging, etc.

So, explain to me how the lowest rate of reoffense has the most intrusive monitoring that has driven away constitutional rights for the individuals(which by the way, this registry has also been shown to be a money wasting implentation that offers no benefit), AND YET, those with horribly high reoffense rates that are hurting communities, don’t have any tracking whatsoever.  That is the epitome of stupid public policy and shows that policy makers and the public who supports them have no common sense.

Read for yourself, the link is below.  It is a long article but worth the read.



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