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After 16 Arrests, Teenager Gets Package Deal

Sun., May 28, 1995

Even when you’re caught, crime sometimes pays. Fifteen-year-old Joey knows.

Over the past 1 years, police arrested the Spokane boy 16 times for 19 different crimes - burglary, car thefts, assaults, reckless endangerment, malicious mischief…

Officers kept slapping on the cuffs and hauling him to the county Juvenile Detention Center.

Joey never stayed long. Within a couple of days, he was back on the streets expanding his list of victims.

For more than a year, he wasn’t prosecuted.

“The message is ‘nothing’s going to happen to me,”’ said Joline Keevy, the court investigator assigned to the case.

Instead of building a conviction record that could have sent him to a state institution, prosecutors recently erased the backlog by tossing out most of the arrests. Ten charges were lumped together in a plea bargain that resulted in a 48-day stint in detention.

That’s not how the rehabilitation-minded juvenile justice system is supposed to work.

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