Hamilton and Kenton county prosecutors call for reform of juvenile justice system

There have been calls today to take a closer look at teen violence in the community and the juvenile justice system itself. A week after the death of a young UC student who was simply crossing a street, top prosecutors on both sides of the river are increasingly concerned “It should come as no surprise to anyone,” the county prosecutor said. Hamilton, Joe Deters. “When you let violent criminals out on the streets, they commit violence.” Kenton County District Attorney Rob Sanders was equally adamant about the state of youth violence in general. “I think it’s time we reassessed how we deal with youth crime,” Sanders said. The recent hit-and-run death of 18-year-old student Cayden Turner has shone a spotlight on the youngster’s criminal history accused of meeting her with what police say was a stolen SUV. to police and court documents, the driver was the same 17-year-old who was part of a group that injured Boone County Lt. Chris Hall with a stolen SUV last October. After pleading an initial charge of attempted murder for assault and receiving property, he was released to his mother. A few weeks later, Cincinnati police arrested him for violating probation by having a loaded gun in his car. “said Deters. “And we don’t lock him up?” Nineteen minors were charged with murder in Hamilton County last year. So far in 2022, there have been 16. Before the pandemic, the numbers were mostly in the single digits. Sanders, like Deters, pointed to data that showed most violent crimes were committed by a small percentage of people, which he said holds true for both minors and adults. “Minors doing carjackings, street robberies, murders, not their first rodeo,” Sanders said. “These are children who have been in and out of the system repeatedly.” Sanders lamented the lack of transparency in the juvenile system, suggesting public scrutiny would allow for greater accountability. “We can’t have a hug mentality when minors commit adult crimes,” Sanders said. “I think as a society we really need to look at, you know, what types of crimes our juvenile system is equipped to handle versus the types of crimes that juveniles actually commit. We also need to go back and look at what we’re doing in juvenile corrections to make sure that we’re not just sending kids to summer camp, that we’re doing something to try to make sure that we’re moderating their behavior,” he said. he continued. S’keisha Rembert-Wilkerson, the mother of this 18-year-old Turner, has been asked about the teenager who is believed to be responsible for her daughter’s death. “I think it’s insane and people don’t think about their actions,” Wilkerson said. “And it really saddened me to know that it’s also someone his age.” The teenager was released in mid-August with an ankle monitoring device. domestic violence. “The fact is, the only way to change that is through elections,” Deters said. “If you elect a group of progressive judges who don’t believe incarceration is the right answer, you’ll get more.” Democratic candidates hit back at those words, saying society should pay more attention to the root causes of crime. such as poverty, low self-esteem and lack of educational opportunities. While the political back-and-forth unfolds, students on Jefferson Avenue on the east side of the UC campus just want to cross safely and get to class.

There have been calls today to take a closer look at teen violence in the community and the juvenile justice system itself.

A week after the death of a young UC student who was simply crossing a street, top prosecutors on both sides of the river are growing increasingly concerned.

“It should come as no surprise to anyone,” Hamilton County District Attorney Joe Deters said. “When you let violent criminals out on the streets, they commit acts of violence.”

Kenton County District Attorney Rob Sanders was equally adamant about the state of youth violence in general.

“I think it’s time we reassessed how we deal with youth crime,” Sanders said.

The recent hit-and-run death of 18-year-old student Cayden Turner has shone a spotlight on the youngster’s criminal history accused of meeting her with what police say was a stolen SUV.

According to police and court documents, the driver was the same 17-year-old who was part of a group that injured Boone County Lt. Chris Hall with a stolen SUV last October.

After pleading an initial charge of attempted murder for assault and receiving stolen property, he was released to his mother.

A few weeks later, Cincinnati police arrested him for violating probation by having a loaded gun in his car.

“While he’s on probation here, he picks up, he gets caught with a weapon, a gun,” Deters said. “And we don’t lock him up?”

Nineteen minors were charged with murder in Hamilton County last year. So far in 2022, there have been 16.

Before the pandemic, the numbers were mostly in the single digits.

Sanders, like Deters, pointed to data that showed most violent crimes were committed by a small percentage of people, which he said applies to both minors and adults.

“The minors out there doing carjackings, street robberies, murders, not their first rodeo,” Sanders said. “These are children who have been in and out of the system repeatedly.”

Sanders lamented the lack of transparency in the juvenile system, suggesting public scrutiny would allow for greater accountability.

“We can’t have a hug mentality when minors commit adult crimes,” Sanders said.

“I think as a society we really need to look at, you know, what types of crimes our juvenile system is equipped to handle versus the types of crimes that juveniles actually commit. We also need to go back and look at what we’re doing in juvenile corrections to make sure that we’re not just sending kids to summer camp, that we’re doing something to try to make sure that we’re moderating their behavior,” he said. he continued.

S’keisha Rembert-Wilkerson, the mother of this 18-year-old Turner, has been asked about the teenager who is believed to be responsible for her daughter’s death.

“I think it’s insane and people don’t think about their actions,” Wilkerson said. “And it really saddened me to know that it’s also someone his age.”

The teenager was released in mid-August with an ankle monitoring device.

Deters said electronic monitoring is overstated, likening it to a restraining order for someone accused of domestic violence.

“The fact is, the only way to change that is through elections,” Deters said. “If you elect a bunch of progressive judges who don’t believe incarceration is the right answer, you’ll get more.”

Democratic candidates hit back at the words, saying society should pay more attention to the root causes of crime such as poverty, low self-esteem and lack of educational opportunities.

While the political back and forth unfolds, students on Jefferson Avenue on the east side of the UC campus just want to cross safely and get to class.