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.