The state has an archaic system in which we operate under the misimpression that everyone under 18 can be rehabilitated for repeatedly committing violent crimes. We must find a way to provide rehabilitation, but also accountability and punishment.That's kind of hardcore coming from, of all places, the office of Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy. Her office, as I write about in my book, is often at odds with police officers.
I'm not against the concept of "juvenile justice." I do think that kids who commit crimes should be treated differently than adults. But 17-year-olds? Especially when they're fathers, murderers, and drug dealers? They're no longer kids. I can't tell you how many times I had to treat an arrested 16 or 17-year-old as a "juvenile" only to find no adults who could or were willing to deal with this violent man anymore.
These so-called kids certainly don't see themselves as kids. They don't look like kids. They certainly don't play like kids. Why treat them like kids? How many times does somebody have to locked up for violent crimes before they're kept off the street and away from other?
Maybe lowering the adult age to 16 would be good start. Given the environments some kids grow up in, childhood is an unfortunately idealistic concept as best. But at some point, for some kids, we simply gotta put them away. If you disagree, and it's touching if you do, I recommend you go to the juvie home and work on adopting an unloved teenager. But whatever problems have developed need to be headed off long before the teen years.
The issue here is Lamont Davis. He's been arrested 15 times since he was ten. Lamont is a very bad boy. In the past year and a half since Davis has been in custody of juvenile services, he's been arrested and charged in five incidents. God only knows how many times he hurt people and didn't get caught.
Recently Davis yoked (robbed and beat) a woman. He was arrested and plead guilty on July 1st.
On July 2nd, soon after Davis cut off his home monitoring bracelet, a five-year-old girl apparently got in the path of one of his bullets. She may not make it. Two other guys were hit as well.
Justin Fenton has the story in the Sun.
Willie Bosket comes to mind. I'm not a fan of prison. But some people need to be put away for a long time. I nominate Davis. And then let's come up with some ideas and be willing to spend some money to prevent such cases from happening again.