Catasauqua Press

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Speaker discusses dealing with juvenile offenders

Thursday, December 6, 2012 by ANDREW MARK Special to The Press in Police Log

Elizabeth Fritz of the Juvenile Probation Office spoke about handling juvenile offenders at the Whitehall Crime Watch meeting, Nov. 26.

Fritz said 4 to 8 percent of juvenile offenders are "serious chronic offenders" and that 40 percent of juveniles are "low risk offenders."

"People can change as an adolescent on their way to becoming an adult," said Fritz.

Research reveals if the office focused on the serious chronic offenders, it would be more beneficial.

Supervision for juveniles is based on the risk level. If an offender makes a mistake, he or she is held accountable.

Since the change, the office has seen a 30 percent reduction in recidivism.

"When we put low-risk offenders with high-risk offenders it would often make the low risk offenders worse," she noted.

In other business, residents of Egypt spoke about an outbreak of criminal mischief in their area.

Mayor Edward D. Hozza, police Chief Linda Kulp and Community Officer Paul Davis spoke about safety measures and the purpose of being vigilant.

They stressed the importance of locking car doors, not leaving valuables in a vehicle, locking one's front door and leaving porch lights on.

Davis advised residents to call the police at the non-emergency number if they see anything they're uncomfortable with.

"You shouldn't feel like you're crying wolf, call us," he said.