Locking up fewer kids, less crime (MN)
EXCERPT: Added Police Chief Smith: “There are departments throughout the country, especially police departments, that had big concerns about this initiative, and we were among them.”
But the philosophy of catching juveniles early and not putting first-time suspects in detention along with felons who have an established criminal history appeals to Smith.
Some friction remains. Juveniles arrested on bench warrants are not automatically locked up. Runaways – even those from out-of-state – are not held without a warrant.
The bottom line, according to Eugene Polyak, commander of the St. Paul Police Department’s juvenile unit: “As we look at juvenile crime patterns, it’s down….We’re implementing the (risk assessment), we’re not holding some of these kids on lower-level offenses and as a result we’re not seeing an increase in juvenile crime.