In the media these days, it is becoming quite common to see headlines referring to violence and other criminal acts among the juvenile population in Illinois. Its no secret that juvenile crimes are an ongoing problem across the country. According to some people, inadequacies in the juvenile justice system are to blame for the robust crime rates. Recently, new laws have been passed to help reduce crime committed by minors.
In Cook County, pre-teens who were convicted of crimes were often sent to a juvenile detention center. However, new legislation was recently passed to raise the minimum age for those sent to the detention center. The new law, which takes effect immediately, says children under the age of 13 will no longer be locked up. The legislation falls in line with recent research that says that children under 13 should not be held in custody since they are too young to fully understand the reasoning behind criminal proceedings.
Instead, younger children who fall in trouble will be directed to alternative programs through Comprehensive Community Based Youth Services, which is a network of providers in Illinois who provide rehabilitation services for troubled youth. According to studies, detention periods for pre-teens can lead to suicidal thoughts as well as increased recidivism. Advocates of the new law say that this is a very positive step in reform for the state of Illinois.
Being arrested and charged with a crime can negatively affect a juvenile for the rest of his or her life. Those in Illinois who have been charged with juvenile crimes have the right to seek legal representation. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney can provide much-needed guidance while protecting individual rights.