>i told my lad that if he was looking for trouble this weekend, he’d best find it on friday rather than saturday night. that’s because saturday marks tor’s transition from an unidentified youth to “an 18-year-old Shoreview man” in the eyes of the law.
in truth, there’s no longer such a bright age line separating the juvenile and adult justice system. when i first started teaching about age norms and standards in my delinquency class, my students would chuckle at press accounts involving both 18-year-old and 17-year-old suspects. the 18-year-old would typically be identified as a man or woman, while the 17-year-old would be identified as a boy or girl — even though the two may have been classmates, born a few days or weeks apart.
in several states, however, juvenile court jurisdiction doesn’t extend to 17-year-olds, so the age cut-point is 16 or lower (and lower still for specified crimes). media accounts in these jurisdictions are thus much more likely to provide teenagers’ names and photographs. here’s a representative story from wkbt in la crosse:
Tomah Teens Arrested for Ice Rink Burglary
Posted: Jan 23, 2009 10:12 AM CST
Three Tomah teens are arrested after officers find them stealing items from an ice rink.
Tomah Police say 18-year-old Travisty Swosinski, 18-year-old Nicholas Graewin and 17-year-old Aaron Kleiser were arrested early Friday morning.
Officers were on patrol at around 12:20 a.m. when they noticed lights on at the rink at Recreation Park. They found one of the teens outside the rink by a car, which had in it concession items from the rink and a can of gasoline.
Officers found the other two teens inside the rink stealing items from a freezer.
All three teens face burglary and trespassing charges. Swosinski and Kleiser also face marijuana charges.
note that all three are identified as “teens” rather than boys or men and that 17-year-old aaron kleiser faces the same marijuana charges as 18-year-old travisty swosinski (though a 16-year-old would likely have been treated differently). in any case, i’ll be encouraging my lad to steer clear of trouble on friday night as well — particularly that involving dairlyland ice rinks.