Police, prosecutors, corrections workers, and perhaps school and mental health officials in Milwaukee will soon meet to share notes on 81 juvenile offenders in an effort to thwart future crime, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. By assembling the panel to jointly review the list of high-rate offenders, the collective wisdom of the group can be tapped to help determine which ones may be truly dangerous – or heading that way, said Police Chief Edward Flynn.
That could lead to better decisions on which offenders require the most serious consequences, Flynn said. “If we don’t get it right with juveniles, we are going to pay for it for the rest of their lives,” Flynn said. The idea is an outgrowth of a city juvenile crime panel named by Mayor Tom Barrett after several high-profile assaults and thefts by groups of young people. The review approach was borrowed from the city’s Homicide Review Commission, which found that most murders were done by “active offenders” well known to law enforcement. While the idea of gathering various professionals who have had contact with troubled youths might seem like common sense, various agencies often act independently of each other and thus lack the full picture of what’s happening with a juvenile who gets in trouble, Barrett said.