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June 27, 2022

Tracking repeat juvenile offenders

The San Benito County Probation Department is buying a $53,000
computer program designed to help crack down on juvenile crime,
especially repeat juvenile offenders.
The San Benito County Probation Department is buying a $53,000 computer program designed to help crack down on juvenile crime, especially repeat juvenile offenders.

The program, offered through Allvest Information System, Inc., will help probation officers keep closer track of juvenile offenders and streamline the evaluation of youths entering the criminal justice system.

The county Board of Supervisors recently approved the acquisition of the software, with the money coming from funds remaining from a state grant and some from making cuts in other areas ($17,419 unbudgeted grant funds and $7,825 interest earned) and realigned fiscal year 2002-03 line items (travel $1,500, office expense $5,082 and professional services $20,949).

By slightly readjusting the probation department’s finances, purchasing the system will not cost the county more than what is already budgeted for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

The need to crack down on repeat juvenile offenders was made apparent by recent state statistics that indicated that 8 percent of all juveniles brought into the criminal justice system were repeat offenders.

Study results showed that about 71 percent of minors referred to probation for criminal activity did not have a new probation referral. Twenty-one percent committed one or two more offenses, and that 8 percent of the juveniles went on to commit three or more additional offenses.

“This small group of 8 percent went on to commit more than half of the repeat offenses and was likely to become career criminals,” Assistant Chief Probation Officer Christine Armer said in a written statement.

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