NPR Report Features Conversations with Juvenile Offenders

Anonymous and informal conversations, had with a number of youth being held in Maryland detention centers, reveals boredom and basic needs as driver behind criminal behavior. 

A recent NPR segment discussed what is drawing young kids into crime and how juvenile services are intended to help. Children currently in the care of the Department of Juvenile Services spoke with reporters about motivations for delinquency and criminal behavior, highlighting that the reasons vary depending on the individual. Consequently, the treatment strategies that were applauded for success also rely on the needs of the individual, even individualized mentoring programs with life coaches.

From the report:

Many of the incarcerated youths said they first got in trouble because they were bored, looking for something to do, and started hanging out with other kids who were bored and restless. Others simply lacked basic necessities like enough clothes, or wanted money they otherwise lacked.

A 2023 MACo Winter Conference panel will discuss the related topic of whether recent reforms to juvenile justice policies can help curb some of these delinquent behaviors. Efforts to divert youth away from the criminal justice system are in the very early stages of implementation, and the session, “Juvenile Justice Pt. 1: The Local Role,” will cover what those changes are and how the new processes work.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: