Juveniles in Minnesota’s Twin Cities are “committing a growing number of severe and brazen crimes,” according to the Star Tribune.
“We are not talking about stealing candy bars from stores,” Hennepin County Sheriff Dawanna Witt told the Star Tribune in an article published Sunday. “These are indicators that we’re in trouble.”
The outlet reported that the most common crimes committed by juveniles in Hennepin County, Minnesota, were “auto thefts, gun possession, assault and robbery,” adding that “[j]uveniles charged with homicide have more than doubled since 2021 compared with the three years prior.”
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Witt also emphasized that facilities focused on rehabilitating juveniles after crimes were important.
“Kids that are living in chaos, that are living in survival mode, how receptive are they going to be to any kind of rehabilitation?” Witt said. “We need these facilities. Bring the resources to them. It doesn’t have to be punitive.”
“Sometimes young people make boneheaded decisions,” Minn. State Sen. Bobby Joe Champion told the Star Tribune. “A setback can also be an opportunity for a comeback. How do we identify solutions that bring them back into law-abiding behavior?”
Champion did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
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When asked why law enforcement officers are “presenting fewer cases for prosection than before the pandemic,” Witt said that the answer was unclear.
“We have to ask why,” Witt said. “Talk to anyone in law enforcement, we are not seeing that trend.”
Other officials are raising warnings about the rise in crime in the state.
“We are getting this perspective from all over the state. The needs are the same, but the scales are different,” Hennepin County Commissioner Jeffrey Lunde, who also heads the Hennepin County Board Law, Safety and Justice Committee, reportedly said. “This is about a continuum of care.”
Lunde’s co-chair on the Hennepin County Board Law, Safety and Justice Committee, Al Godfrey, called attention to the justice system.
“The corrections system was never designed to be a mental health care facility for those kids, but they are ending up there,” Godfrey said. “We don’t want to throw a lot of dollars at something that may not solve the needs of the kids in the system.”
Comm. Jeff Lunde of Hennepin County District 1 told Fox News Digital that mental health is an important part of the rise in juvenile crime.
“Youth are being held accountable for the crime that they caused, and we’re trying to make sure that where accountability includes mental health treatment, that it’s in a manner that is actually effective,” Lunde said. “If we’re effective on treating the mental health component, we may stop a person from continuing down the path of crime later in their life.”
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