A new law in Kansas is causing a headache for police dealing with juvenile delinquents amid a rash of teen burglaries.
Maize Police Chief Matt Jensby is attempting to put an end to the rise crimes by teenagers, which he attributes to drug issues.
“A majority of the thefts we’ve had lately, it seems that drugs are found when the person is apprehended for the theft or they admit they’re supporting their drug habit by stealing,” he said.
According to KWCH, new juvenile justice reforms are making it harder to crack down on juvenile criminals, including a law which has a “cite and release” approach that often prevents the minors from being taken to jail.
“We’re really struggling with some of those new juvenile justice reforms,” Jensby said.”It really ties law enforcement’s hand in arresting and taking those juveniles to juvenile detention or jail, whereas now often times we have to cite them and release them to the parents.”
Jensby is critical of the “jail pipeline”-prevention laws, which he feels only enables them to keep offending without fear of immediate consequences.
To try to keep juveniles out of that jail pipeline by getting them in the system, have an alternative method,” Jensby said. “”I think ultimately, (juvenile offenders) figure it out and know there’s no immediate consequences for their actions, that they’re not going to get arrested.”
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