The National Juvenile Justice Network has published A House Divided No More: Common Cause for Juvenile Justice Advocates, Victim Advocates, and Communities, which details research that many juvenile offenders are also victims of crime. The paper calls for a broader discussion between juvenile justice advocates and victim advocates in order to bring about true change in the juvenile justice system. Of note is that “one study of over 5,000 youth found that youth who are victims of a violent offense were three times more likely to commit a violent offense in the next twelve months than those who were not victims of violent crime (52 percent compared to 17 percent). Youth who are harmed by crime are at greater risk of drug or alcohol use and abuse, depression, mental health issues, doing poorly in school, unplanned pregnancy, and suicide.”
The paper also echos the calls for a breakdown in the barrier between the treatment of children in the juvenile justice system and the child welfare system, as discussed in this earlier post, What Needs to Change?. Many children end up touching both systems along their growth to adulthood (so-called crossover youth) and the system services should be available to any youth in the juvenile court whether classified as a delinquent or a CHINS.