Teens Who Kill
Troubled teens who kill. You are reading more and more about youth violence, not just in America, but seemingly all around the globe. Almost every city has murder after murder reported in their local news. As the justice system re-evaluates at what age a teen murderer or rapist gets charged as an adult, the question of how to treat these adolescents becomes all the more urgent.
The ideal is to stop their plunge into violence before it gains traction. There are boot camps and military type boarding schools where sometimes severe structure and unrelenting discipline can guide the teen to self-control and some stable moorings.
But when the killing starts so young, there doesn’t even seem to be an opportunity to get a kid in a program. Nashville is one of many cities facing increased juvenile violence in its urban areas.
Teen Murders in the News
“This year, 14 juveniles have been charged in 10 of Nashville’s 51 killings.
On Oct. 8, a 14-year-old Nashville boy shot and killed Classie Wilson, a beloved 70-year-old market owner inside her east Nashville store, police said.
That shooting is bringing several patterns into focus. Most of the youth suspects — 12 of them — are African-American teenage males.
Cities the size of Nashville usually see 10 percent to 12 percent of homicides committed by juvenile offenders, said Gary Jensen, a criminologist at Vanderbilt University who specializes in issues related to juvenile and violent crime.
But in Nashville this year, juveniles are responsible for nearly 20 percent of Nashville’s homicides, according to police.”
By Ann Walker