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Juvenile Crime in Orange County

He may have changed, but he’ll have a lot of time to reflect on what happened. That’s the future (at least 15-17 more years) for Sam Nelson, a drug-addicted kid who killed his neighbor in a vicious attack. Judge Frank Fasel felt there was no middle ground and maxed him out. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/thompson-nelson-fasel-2007781-home-knew
This is the growing and disturbing trend in juvenile law. Treating kids as adults, punishing them as adults. But more and more studies show that kids can’t make decisions as well as adults because their brains aren’t ready to do so. http://www.tresearch.org/headlines/2008Jan_TeenBrain.pdf
Locking kids up earlier and earlier, for longer and longer terms won’t solve the problem. One solution is to provide county governments with resources to study and treat kids earlier in their lives to avoid these crimes from occurring. http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=9747&page=107 With any luck, and a realization that incarcerating ever-younger kids isn’t helping, we may be able to treat kids as kids, and help them realize a brighter future.