Missoula Measures - Youth Delinquency
- Related Data
- Alcohol, Other Drugs & Crime
- Brief Background
- Missoula County Leading Youth Offenses
- Felony Referrals
- Related Measures
- Related Websites
Why this topic?
Youth delinquency includes theft, runaways, assault, obstructing justice, disorderly conduct, trespass, ungovernable, weapons, burglary, illegal possession, drug offenses, curfew violations, criminal mischief, and more — activities that worry almost all of us in our own or anybody’s kids. We want to see fewer of these behaviors, fewer severe incidents, and fewer kids following a path that gets them into worse trouble. In Missoula, District Court judges have given Youth Court the authority to handle any youth charges. Most cases are received as a referral from law enforcement as the result of a citation being issued to the child. However, they also accept referrals from school, parents, and youth themselves. Citations are reviewed, a probation officer is assigned, and an intake hearing is held with the officer, the youth, and the parents.
We realize that the justice system isn’t the only arena where we find troubled youth. We are unable in this measure to address important concerns such as foster care, other out-of-home placement, and severely emotionally disturbed young people.
How are we doing?
Much juvenile offending is not reported. Some of the numbers reflect enforcement priorities. Often the juvenile justice system is called upon to intervene toward the end of offending careers, when the crime reduction potential is much lower. In an average year, about one-third are youth with more than one referral. It is important to remember that less than 5% of numbers reflect dangerous, chronic offenders who present a serious threat to public safety. But many Missoula officials are concerned about rising numbers and are especially concerned about increases in more violent crimes and crimes involving guns.
Source: Youth Court
The more seriously involved a youth is with alcohol or other drugs, the more likely that juvenile is to be involved in delinquency. 1990 Drugs and Violence: Causes, Correlates, and Consequences An MIP is a minor in possession of alcohol.
Montana Board of Crime Control
Depending on a number of factors (such as the level of the offense, or a chronic troubled history with youth court), sometimes felony charges are filed and youths are taken before a District Court judge.
Roughly one-half of all felony charges are not filed with District Court. (Youth Court)
Montana Board of Crime Control - county and state data on youth crimes.
National Criminal Justice Reference Service - (NCJRS) an extensive source for information on criminal and juvenile justice.
Centers for Disease Control - Youth Violence