We had the chance to attend the budget hearing for the Lake County juvenile court.
We heard Judge Karen Lawson briefly describe the trials and tribulations experienced in Juvenile Court.
When juveniles are locked up the taxpayers must provide nurses to administer any needed medications. Many take the ADHD medication. [ADHD is a chronic condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsivity.]
The taxpayers are also responsible for educating the children while they are in the detention center.
The good and bad news is that overall crime is down, but violent crime is up.
There are currently 110 employees in the Juvenile Court system.
We asked Judge Lawson if there are any youth gangs in Lake County. She stated that some of the youths may believe they are in a gang, but they are not really. However, she did say that there is a gang named “Heartless Felons” operating out of Cuyahoga County that has been a problem for Lake County.
The “Heartless Felons” are an adult gang that operates in Euclid and uses children in the commission of a crime. For example, they will tell a youth to steal a car, and when they deliver it to the “Heartless Felon” member they are given $100.00. The HF leaders know that if the youth is caught they will usually receive probation or a lighter sentence.
When we asked why the juvenile crime is so prevalent, she stated that the lack of the father figure in the home and the destruction of the family unit is to blame from many of society’s problems.
In the short time we spoke to Judge Lawson, we can immediately tell that this was a compassionate person that truly does care for the juveniles that come before her court.