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Juvenile Criminals

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2006 | Noam N. Levey, Times Staff Writer
The problems at Los Angeles County's reeling juvenile detention system intensified Wednesday as two more teenagers escaped custody and an inmate started a fire at a juvenile hall. The two escapees, both girls, bolted from a community center where they had been taken to have tattoos removed, the Probation Department said. The escapes followed a break-out Tuesday by two boys from a probation camp in the San Gabriel Valley. One had not been captured as of Wednesday evening.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2006 | Noam N. Levey, Times Staff Writer
When Los Angeles County officials opened the doors to their rebuilt juvenile hall in the San Fernando Valley three decades ago, the facility was supposed to provide a modern, safe place to house young offenders. But by the time four teenagers jumped a wall there last week, Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall had become a grim illustration of the chaos and violence that has engulfed the county's troubled juvenile detention system.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2006 | Noam N. Levey, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles County authorities are investigating allegations that a group of juvenile inmates repeatedly sexually assaulted a 12-year-old inmate in a holding room at the Compton courthouse while Probation Department guards were supposed to be watching the boys.
NATIONAL
February 23, 2006 | John-Thor Dahlburg, Times Staff Writer
A Florida sheriff ordered the closing of a boot camp for young offenders Wednesday as the investigation into the death of a 14-year-old detainee widened and critics demanded all such facilities in the state be shut down. In early January, Martin Lee Anderson died after an altercation with guards at the Bay County Sheriff's Office Boot Camp in Panama City, in the Panhandle.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
A 14-year-old boy who escaped from a camp for juvenile delinquents was killed when he crashed a stolen pickup into a rock wall on Highway 178. Curtis Eugene Vaughan escaped Sunday from Camp Erwin Owen, stole a truck from a nearby campground and headed east on Highway 178, said Kern County Deputy Chief Probation Officer Debra Kirkendall. Vaughan missed a turn on the winding road and was pronounced dead at the scene. He had been at the camp a few weeks for theft, Kirkendall said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Fresno County authorities were searching Tuesday for four boys who escaped from Juvenile Hall over the weekend. The boys, who were being held for property crimes, apparently slipped under a fence while they were in the recreation yard, said county Chief Probation Officer Linda Penner. Officials realized they were missing during a head count Saturday night. The county won't release their names because they are minors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 27, 2005 | Jocelyn Y. Stewart, Times Staff Writer
In an impassioned plea for a new trial, an attorney argued Wednesday that a man who was convicted of murder as a teenager in effect "had no trial counsel," because the performance of his lawyer was so deficient. "His incarceration is unjust and unlawful because he has never been tried fairly for his alleged crimes," said attorney Robert Long of Latham & Watkins, which represents Mario Rocha, 26.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 26, 2005 | Ann M. Simmons, Times Staff Writer
Sister Janet Harris swore she would never do it again. Three decades ago, her dogged gumshoe work helped win a retrial and an acquittal for a young gangbanger convicted of attempted murder during a supermarket heist. Harris' efforts took almost two years and left her emotionally drained. But when Harris learned the details of the case of Mario Rocha, a 16-year-old Highland Park youth convicted of murder and attempted murder, she couldn't help but launch into amateur detective mode once again.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 2005 | Jenifer Warren, Times Staff Writer
Six correctional counselors fired for their roles in a videotaped beating of two inmates at a California youth prison were given their jobs back Tuesday by the state Personnel Board. Capping a case that drew national attention because of the graphic footage, the board reinstated the employees after finding that their testimony was more persuasive than that presented by corrections officials.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Police are blaming three teenagers for at least 100 thefts that have plagued Marin County residents for the last 10 months. Authorities say the trio -- a 19-year-old and two juveniles -- broke into cars and houses and stole mail in San Anselmo, Fairfax, Ross and Sleepy Hollow. Police say none of the suspects has been arrested, but they have sent the case to the district attorney's office for possible charges.
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