The Washington, D.C., juvenile justice agency has come under scrutiny again after three teens under its care were charged in the slaying of a city school principal, reports the Washington Post. The shooting death of Brian Betts has unleashed a round of finger-pointing over who is to blame for the fact that the 18-year-olds charged in his killing were at large.
All three had lengthy juveniles arrest records, and all three were wanted. One had walked away from a group home two weeks before Betts was killed, and the other two, who were being supervised in the community, had stopped showing up for court hearings and meetings with juvenile officials weeks before the April 15 homicide. At least seven men under the city’s care have been charged with murder this year, more than in last year and nearly as many as in 2008. As of this week, almost 80 youths, or about 8 percent of the D.C. juvenile system’s population, were unaccounted for. Trying to determine responsibility can be difficult in the local juvenile justice system. The Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services supervises almost 1,000 people.