When Kids Get Arrested
What Every Adult Should Know
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Figures and Tables
I would like to thank the following people for their support and assistance throughout this process: Beverly Beaver, Marty Beyer, Jane Broder, Laurel Budman, Sue Burell, Barbara Dundon, Jocelyn Fowler, Marni Gangle, Lili Garfinkle, Lisa Geis, Mark Houldin, Sara Jacobson, Gwenn Jones, Marsha Levick, Robert...
Top Ten Tips
No one is ever prepared for the arrest of a child. Unlike a medical emergency, when it comes to a legal crisis in delinquency court, people don’t know where to go for help. As a juvenile defense attorney, I’ve watched confused adults face the maze of juvenile court and unknowingly make choices that will dramatically alter...
PART I: The Juvenile Justice Process
1. Overview of Juvenile Court
Trying to navigate the juvenile justice system without a lawyer is like trying to be your own doctor. You might be able to do it, but it is definitely not smart. Ever since Gerald Gault got sentenced to six years for making a prank phone call, children who get arrested have been entitled to important legal protections...
2. Interrogation: What the Police Don’t Want You to Know
During gym class, sixth-grader Darryl was playing basketball with his classmates. At one point, in the middle of the game, Darryl said “I’m going to kill you” to a child on the opposing team. The following day, the school called the police. The police took Darryl into a room alone, where he confessed to making the...
It is truly a scary thing to see a child you care about handcuffed and placed into a police car. For adults, the lack of control and lack of understanding about what will happen to the child while he is in custody adds anxiety to an already stressful situation. Once a child is in police custody, concerned adults may not have...
4. The Detention Hearing: Will They Keep the Child in Custody until Trial?
When the judge looked at Melissa’s case, he saw the following situation: a fifteen-year-old girl who had a prior arrest and had missed her court date. He saw a school record with ninety unexcused absences. There was a probation officer’s report that said Melissa refused to cooperate and that she continued to test...
5. Pretrial Issues: What to Do between the Detention Hearing and the Trial
Sean was arrested for robbery. According to the police report he came up from behind the victim, pushed him to the ground, and took his iPod. At the detention hearing the judge allowed Sean to go back home on the condition that he be placed on electronic monitoring (a small metal ankle bracelet that could...
6. Should the Child Take a Deal or Go to Trial?
Fourteen-year-old John sat with his father in the courthouse hallway. It was the first court hearing since the detention hearing. John had gone to the attorney’s office for an interview, but the attorney didn’t have any of the paperwork from the case yet. The attorney told John he would get the discovery today, and then...
7. Will the Juvenile Record Go Away When the Child Becomes an Adult?
One of the most common myths about juvenile court is that the child’s record becomes clean when he turns eighteen. This is not true. In most cases, the juvenile record will follow the child unless he has completed an expungement process. An expungement is when an arrest is erased from a person’s criminal...
8. Disposition Hearing (Sentencing): Asking the Court to Provide the Services the Child Needs
Melvin’s social worker knew exactly when things started to go downhill. It was clear to her why Melvin’s grades had slipped from Bs to Ds, and why he had started hanging out with boys who got into trouble. It was all related to the death of his favorite uncle, Joe. Although Melvin was in foster care, his...
9. How to Succeed on Probation
Darryl was arrested while taking some CDs out of an unlocked car. Darryl decided to admit to the crime and was given six months of probation. Over the next six months, Darryl did not do the fifty hours of community service that the judge ordered. He also did not visit Ms. Jones, his probation officer, every month as he had...
10. When the Child Is Sent to Residential Placement
Gina looked at her son Charles, but he would not make eye contact. “Be good,” she said, “I love you.” She reached out to hug him, quickly, and then watched as the sheriff led him away. A few tears leaked from her eyes. Tears of sadness that this day had come, and tears of relief—at least she would know where he...
PART II: Important Issues and Special Populations
11. Transferring Children to Adult Criminal Court
On the day of the incident, sixteen-year-old Nyeema had been in court, waiting for the judge to decide whether her baby’s paternal grandmother should have more visits with her baby. Nyeema couldn’t believe she had to go through this again. This was the second time the grandmother had filed a petition like...
12. School Search Issues
Children have decreased privacy rights in school. As discussed in chapter 5, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees children freedom from unreasonable governmental searches and seizures. This provision does not apply in the same way to youth in schools, however. A search by a...
13. When Children Get Suspended or Expelled: School Discipline Issues and Zero-Tolerance Policies
The term “zero tolerance” means that there is a mandatory minimum punishment for a designated behavior. For example, a school will have a zero-tolerance policy toward the use of alcohol or drugs. In theory, any student who engaged in the prohibited...
14. Special Education Issues
National Statistics reveal that approximately 32 percent of adjudicated children have special education issues. Individual state statistics have revealed that over 55 percent of the children in secure confinement are eligible to receive special education...
15. Does Race Matter?
During the summer of 2007, the “Jena 6” case rocked the country. Thousands of people across the country rallied to speak out against racial bias in the adult and juvenile justice system. Thousands more went to the small town of Jena, Louisiana, to protest the case of Mychal...
16. Children with Mental Health Issues
By March, Kelly had become really worried about her daughter, Amanda. Typically a good student who enjoyed being involved in the school band and church youth groups, Amanda now showed little interest in anything. Her grades had gone from As and Bs to Cs. She seemed to spend all her time alone in her...
17. Institutional Abuse: Is the Child in Danger?
Unfortunately, I have personally represented many children who have been abused in juvenile facilities. First there was Rebecca, a girl who came to the system because of a fight with her mother and ended up being sent to a residential treatment program specializing in girls who had been abused. While in the...
18. The Special Needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth
A case from Hawaii, heard by the United States district court in 2006, illustrates the kinds of issues lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) children face while confined in facilities. In this case, three teen residents—a gay girl, a boy perceived to be gay, and a transgender girl—testified to the routine practice...
19. The Special Needs of Girls
Everyone knew Joanne would get probation. Standing in front of the judge, admitting to a minor retail theft, all she had to do was get through a few questions and she would be out the door. But the judge irritated Joanne, making comments that she found annoying. Joanne responded by rolling her eyes and placing her...
20. When the Child Is Charged with a Sexual Offense
Joshua is fourteen. For the past year he has been in counseling at the local sex abuse counseling center, because he was sexually abused by a cousin over the course of two years when he was younger. His grandparents took him to counseling when they noticed changes in Joshua’s behavior at home and at...
Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 10 figures, 8 tables
Publication Year: 2009
OCLC Number: 593295671
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