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7 juveniles must present criminal defense to riot charges

Juveniles are charged with crimes in many cases just like adults. Nonetheless, the system of prosecuting juveniles is quite a bit different from the prosecution of adults. When dealing with juveniles, the system provides more flexibility in presenting a criminal defense and several more alternative programs in place of the far more severe penalties in the adult system. Recently, seven juveniles were arrested and charged with causing a riot and assault at the Spring Creek Youth Services Center in Colorado Springs, according to a Springs Police spokesperson.

The communications director for the Department of Human Services stated that no staff or juveniles were hurt. The Department oversees the juvenile center. The police call screen indicates that four staff and seven juveniles were involved in an “incident,” which was resolved by staff prior to contacting the police. The communication director indicated that even though the incident had been resolved, it was standard procedure to call the police.

The institution is housed with juveniles who are waiting to have the charges against them reviewed, and also with those who have been convicted of juvenile offenses and are serving their terms. The center provides a public school curriculum, but it is becoming more difficult. The Colorado Springs School District recently pulled out due to faculty safety concerns, but another district agreed to step in and cover the problem.

After the seven minors were arrested, it is unknown if they were returned to the center. That is likely due to the fact that they have not yet been tried or allowed to present a criminal defense to the charges. It is expected that they will consult with attorneys shortly in preparation for their juvenile defense. There have been reports of continuing disruptive incidents at the center, and authorities in Colorado are reviewing the program to determine its effectiveness.

Source: Colorado Springs Independent, "Police investigate 'incident' at Spring Creek", Pam Zubeck, Aug. 8, 2014

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