MINNEAPOLIS — For nearly a year, KARE 11 journalists have been digging deeper into Minnesota’s troubled juvenile justice system.
As daily reports of crime in the community committed by juveniles made headlines and became a key political issue, KARE 11 wanted to understand why.
Reporter Brandon Stahl dug through court documents to uncover stunning rates of repeat offenders among the juveniles accused of felony level crimes – data even the state of Minnesota wasn’t keeping.
We uncovered how failures in Minnesota’s mental health system were driving juvenile crime - from a lack of treatment options for youth accused of violence, to major gaps in a system which tied judges’ hands allowed juveniles found incompetent to stand trial to go free without treatment or supervision.
And we uncovered a pattern of holding juveniles in solitary confinement for days at a time – a practice experts say only makes kids more violent when they get out of jail.
Advocates, law enforcement leaders and parents are now calling for change in the upcoming legislative session.
Watch the full "Juvenile Justice" special below: