“There has been a specific conscious effort to draw down the population,” said presiding Judge Marilyn Moores. “When I arrived we locked up eight year olds. Eight year olds! That’s a second grader. That’s somebody who believes in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Do you really think they ought to be locked up with 16-year-olds who are carrying guns?”
Moores said most children who come through her court stand a better chance of staying out of trouble if they go back home and to school than behind locked doors.
“If you take a shoplifter and put him in with a kid with gun offenses, because at this time of their life the part of their brain that has strong associations with peers is the part that is influencing their behavior the most, as a result, we end up with two high level offenders instead of one kid.”
Moores said 80% of the youths who pass through her courts never come back . . .
Though Marion County is the most populous county in Indiana, it does not lead the way in sending juvenile offenders to the Indiana Department of Corrections.
There are 419 juveniles behind bars in various state facilities.
39 were sentenced from Allen County, 47 from Lake County and 45 from St. Joseph County.
By contrast, Marion County has sent 34 teen offenders to state facilities.
Moores said that her courts and probation officers focus on second chances as opposed to punishment.
“We use a risk assessment instrument that we have validated. It is several percentage point below the national average for error, but these kids do not have a mood ring detector that says, ‘I’m going to run out and kill somebody today.’”Unfortunately, releasing two serious juvenile offenders, Gabriel Edwards and Simeon Adams, allowed them to kill innocent people.
Edwards was 15-years-old and on probation when he went on alleged cross-county crime spree that resulted in murder in February of 2013.
Adams, 16, was arrested last week and charged with the murder of expectant father Nathan Trapuzzano April 1st.
At the time, Adams was facing a detention hearing for missing nine curfew checks at his west side home.
Moores said Adams’ probation officer, who has since resigned, should have moved for immediate detention after three no-shows.
“There are consequences and if the system, meaning all the way through, followed the rules and policies, which is, you don’t get to not be where you’re supposed to be nine times. When you’re not there three times, we’re at your door.”
Moores told Fox 59 News that in the aftermath of the Adams case, probation officers are strictly adhering to policies.Guess the identity of this infamous Indiana juvenile offender:
In 1939, ___________ and her brother were sentenced to five years in prison for robbing a West Virginia gas station. ___________ was packed off to live with a strictly religious aunt and her sadistic husband, who constantly berated the boy as a “sissy,” dressing him in girl’s clothing for his first day of school in an effort to help ___________ “act like a man.”
Paroled in 1942, ___________ reclaimed her son, but she was clearly unsuited to motherhood. An alcoholic tramp who brought home lovers of both sexes, his mother frequently left ___________with neighbors “for an hour,” then disappeared for days or weeks on end, leaving relatives to track the boy down. On one occasion, she reportedly gave ___________ to a barmaid, in payment for a pitcher of beer.
By 1947, ___________ was seeking a foster home for her son, but none was available. ___________ wound up in the Gibault School for Boys, in Terre Haute, Indiana, but fled after ten months, rejoining his mother. She still didn’t want him, and so ___________ took to living on the streets, making his way by theft.
Arrested in Indiana, he escaped from the local juvenile center after one day’s confinement. Recaptured and sent to Father Flanagan’s Boy’s Town, he lasted four days before his next escape, fleeing in a stolen car to visit relatives in Illinois. He pulled more robberies en route and on arrival, leading to another bust at age 13.
Confined for three years in a reform school at Plainfield, Indiana, ___________ recalls sadistic abuse by older boys and guards alike. If we may trust his memory, at least one guard incited other boys to rape and torture___________ , while the officer stood by and masturbated on the sidelines.
In February 1951, ___________ and two other inmates escaped from the Plainfield “school,” fleeing westward in a series of stolen cars. Arrested in Beaver, Utah, ___________ was sentenced to federal time for driving hot cars across state lines.
Starting off in a minimum-security establishment,___________ assaulted another inmate in January 1952, holding a razor blade to the boy’s throat and sodomizing him.
Reclassified as “dangerous,” ___________ was transferred to a tougher lock-up, logging eight major disciplinary infractions – including three homosexual assaults – by August 1952.
He was moved to the Chilicothe, Ohio reformatory a month later, and suddenly turned over a new leaf, becoming a “model” prisoner almost overnight. The cunning act was rewarded by parole in May 1954.Find the answer here if you haven't figured out who this product of Indiana's juvenile justice system is. It doesn't look like we've progressed much over the past half-century.