Juvenile Justice System in San Diego

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Updated: Aug 18, 2023
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San Diego is well-known for its superb weather and breathtaking beaches. However, delve a little deeper, and you’ll uncover a different tale. Today, many of the city’s youth are grappling with a grittier reality—struggling with challenges ranging from truancy and high dropout rates to gang involvement. In San Diego, 15,527 students were chronically absent, with minority students constituting 76.90% of this statistic.

The annual dropout rate stood at 2.1% for grades 9-12. Some of these educational issues could be tied to youth gang involvementas well.

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In fact, a staggering 90% of the youth began their engagement with gang activity by the age of 14 or even younger, and the median age of involvement was 12. Gang affiliation often leads to crime and engagement with the juvenile justice system. Analysing the racial composition of gang-related juvenile arrests, the figures are as follows: 56% Hispanic, 18% White, 18% Black, and 8% others. Of the crimes committed by juveniles with gang affiliation, 45% were for graffiti, 44% for robbery, and 41% for petty theft or burglary. However, it’s important to note that not all youth in the juvenile justice system engage with gangs.

Other young people are also embroiled in the justice system. The statistics for juveniles arrested with and without gang affiliation reveal differing patterns. For instance, 90% of gang-affiliated juveniles had previous arrests compared to 64% of those without gang links. Similarly, 49% of gang-involved juveniles had taken a weapon to school compared to 15% of those without such affiliations. The percentages were also higher for parents with previous arrests and drug-dealing involvement. Interestingly, juvenile arrest rates were lower than adult arrest rates, with offenses starkly differing.

Youths were arrested for a variety of crimes: 8% for violent offenses, 11% for property crimes, 3% for alcohol or drugs, and 16% for weapons charges. In total, 2016 saw 5,457 juveniles arrested with 1,319 for felonies, 3,342 for misdemeanors, and 796 for status offenses. San Diego also faces issues with homelessness and poverty, especially among the youth. The city’s overall poverty rate is 14.0% with 23.50% of chronically absent students living in poverty. Dissecting these statistics, poverty affects different racial groups in specific percentages: Whites (46.6%), Hispanics (33.4%), Asians (8.2%), Blacks (5.3%), Natives (1.2%), and Others (5.3%).

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Juvenile Justice System in San Diego. (2022, Nov 16). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/juvenile-justice-system-in-san-diego/