Boulder City Magazine® August 2008 Issue
by John Chase, Deputy Chief
Boulder City Police Department
Juvenile Conference Committee
In November 1992, the rapid increase in growth and subsequent increase in juvenile crime in Clark County placed Boulder City youth in the unique position of “not being bad enough.” Thus, the Juvenile Conference Committee, first established in the 1980s, was re-established.
Boulder City Magazine®
|The Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice Services had to deal with severe juvenile crimes, such as assaults, drive-by shootings, gang activities and widespread drug sales and abuse. Status offenses and misdemeanor crimes committed by Boulder City youths were not getting the attention needed to modify illegal behavior at its start.
The JCC serves as a first step in the juvenile justice process for misdemeanor and status offenses and offers a way to return control of minor juvenile misbehavior to the community where the offenses occur.
The Committee hears status offenses, activities that would not be illegal if they were committed by an adult, such as curfew violations, possession of alcohol, and misdemeanor crimes such as disorderly conduct, petit larceny and destruction of property to name a few. The young people who come before the committee must be Boulder City residents between the ages of 8 and 18.
Administrative Assistant Patricia Spero and Chief Finn were invited to present the Boulder City JCC Program at a workshop in Baltimore in August 2006. Since that time, Mrs. Spero has taken the JCC "on the road" educating Nevada Communities on the JCC process and its inherent benefits.
Our alternative juvenile program has been well received, most recently in Mesquite where Mrs. Spero facilitated a presentation and "mock hearing." She also prepared a total package from which Mesquite can create their own JCC program. Mesquite, not unlike Boulder City, has to bring their juveniles to the intake center in Las Vegas, a three-hour round trip. They have embraced this program, thus saving them valuable officer hours and dollars.
The success of the Juvenile Conference Committee in Boulder City is demonstrated by the lack of repeat offenders appearing before the Committee. We clearly have seen the benefits of early intervention with the younger juveniles before their inappropriate conduct turns into more serious criminal offenses.
Until next month, stay safe.
John Chase can be reached via his e-mail address at Jchase@bcnv.org.
P.O. Box 61901
Boulder City, Nevada 89006
Phone (702) 294-1392 Fax (702) 294-1392
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