Since the late 80s, the growing concern for juveniles committing crimes is still on our minds. With media outlets showing serious crimes committed by children and adolescents and criminologists’ giving warnings of a coming wave of savage juveniles. Also referred to as super predators by Bennet Et Al, has encouraged an idea that young people are increasingly violent and uncontrollable and the response by the juvenile justice system has been inadequate.

A new study by The Sentencing Project shows the contrary, that there is actually a drop in youth crime over the past 20 years, which debunks the so-called “false narrative” of youth violence plaguing the nation.

Policy analyst, Sarah Reyes of the Texas Center for Justice and equity, said there is little data since the pandemic started, but she suspects the drop in crime, at least for Texas, was an anomaly because kids were isolated during COVID-19.

“Kids were at home, and weren’t getting things like dress-coded or for fighting,” Reyes expressed. “Schools is the biggest place where kids are accused of committing crime.”

Reyes also exposed other juveniles end up behind bars because of Texas’s stance on marijuana laws, known to be some of the harshest in the country. Possession of any amount of THC is a felony, even if its a vape cartridge, edible or a cannabis brownie.

Don’t let the tide of alarming and often over hyped reporting about youth violence distract us from decades of experience and research of what actually helps the children and the community thrive.

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