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Take Bite Out Of Juvenile Crime

Have other areas of the country suffered from crime sprees by juveniles? If so, has anyone found an effective way to prevent, or at least reduce, violence committed by people we normally would refer to as boys and girls?

If so, Jefferson County residents need to hear about it. Though efforts have been made to steer young people away from violent crime, they are not working as well as had been hoped.

On Sunday, Steubenville police arrested two males, one 19 years of age and the other just 14, on armed robbery charges. Police reported the two robbed a man who had been sitting on his porch with them of about $200.

According to the report, the juvenile held the victim down while the 19-year-old pistol-whipped him. When arrested, the 14-year-old was carrying a gun, police said.

At least the victim in this case was only injured. During the past several years, juveniles have been involved in multiple murders in Jefferson County. Earlier this year, two boys — one 16, the other 17 — were sentenced to prison for their parts in a drug deal gone bad that ended with the death of a Toronto man.

It is known at least some of the juvenile violence is linked to gangs. And some — most, quite likely — is connected to illegal drug trafficking. Clearly, solutions to those problems have been elusive.

In 2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 910 U.S. juveniles were arrested on murder and non-negligent manslaughter charges. This is not just a local problem. Surely, someone, somewhere has ideas that can help. Discovering them needs to be a priority for residents of Jefferson County.

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