New York Times — A 7-Year-Old Was Accused of Rape. Is Arresting Him the Answer?

There appears to be little, if any, organized opposition to raising the age of delinquency. But those who resist say doing so would hamstring the legal system, according to Jeffrey A. Butts, the director of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Research and Evaluation Center. In rare cases involving a particularly dangerous child, he said, incarceration may prevent them from being a risk to others. Continue reading New York Times — A 7-Year-Old Was Accused of Rape. Is Arresting Him the Answer?

PolitiFact — After Mass Shootings, Donald Trump Says Prosecutions for Firearm Offenses Hit Record in 2018

First, the vast majority of gun crimes are handled by state courts, not federal courts, said Jeffrey A. Butts, director of the Research & Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. So Trump is talking about a small piece of the issue. Continue reading PolitiFact — After Mass Shootings, Donald Trump Says Prosecutions for Firearm Offenses Hit Record in 2018

Baltimore Sun—New Curfew Takes Effect Friday

Criminal Justice, said the argument that a curfew is necessary to protect children is “convenient” but not rooted in fact. Governments have child welfare laws for safety, he said, and officers can intervene when necessary without needing a curfew law to step in. Butts said Baltimore’s law is not only strict, but confusing because of the way it changes based on a child’s age and the time of year. “It’s more coverage than I have seen most cities do,” Butts said. “It sounds not only comprehensive but complicated, which means kids will lose track of it.” Continue reading Baltimore Sun—New Curfew Takes Effect Friday

Delinquents or Criminals: Policy Options for Young Offenders

Meaningful reforms in juvenile crime policy have been difficult to achieve. Lawmakers are torn between the views of youth advocates who defend a traditional juvenile court that no longer exists, and hardliners who want to send even more youths to an adult court system that is still not prepared to deal with them properly. Focusing the attention of policy makers on the need to build a new youth justice system with a diverse menu of options for young offenders might help calm the acrimonious debates about transferring young offenders to adult court. Continue reading Delinquents or Criminals: Policy Options for Young Offenders