Case Study 1:
Colleen M. Colleen M. is a 15-year-old Caucasian girl. She has lived in the state her entire life. Her father abandoned her family when she was an infant, and her mother is currently in a drug rehabilitation facility. Colleen has been living on a farm with her aunt. Although she has no prior contact with the law, she admits to having run away from her aunt in the past, though she always returned on her own. Colleen’s current trouble is centered on a neighbor’s dispute about her dog. After the dog bit a neighbor, the neighbor threatened and attempted to take the dog to animal control. When the neighbor later found Colleen and the dog trespassing on her property, the neighbor verbally threatened to “get” them both. Apparently, the neighbor set fire to a scarecrow on Colleen’s aunt’s property to emphasize her point. At this point, Colleen threw a nearby bucket of liquid on the neighbor.
The liquid was later determined to be a pesticide. The pesticide burned the skin on contact and triggered an extreme allergic reaction in the neighbor, resulting in her death. Colleen was charged with involuntary manslaughter and was determined delinquent by the court. Coincidentally, a few weeks prior, Colleen had been a passenger of a motor home that had collided with a vehicle driven by the neighbor’s sister. This accident resulted in the neighbor’s sister’s death, although it was ruled an accidental homicide. Witnesses report that Colleen took a pair of fancy shoes off the feet of the corpse and immediately put them on her own feet. Colleen defends her actions by claiming that an observer told her to do this. At the time of her arrest, Colleen’s blood tested positive for opiates. Colleen claims that while traveling with three homeless men, they unknowingly stumbled upon a field of poppies and that, before they knew it, the intoxicating aroma caused her to pass out. Colleen claims not to have a drug problem. Colleen states that all she wants to do now is go home because she misses her Aunt Emily. Write a 700- to 1,050-word journal entry from the perspective of your selected juvenile offender. Address the following in your assignment: • Describe the process the juvenile will follow after arrest—from intake through court, sentencing, and punishment or rehabilitation from the perspective of the offender. Consider any accommodation necessary for juveniles with special needs. The process should be based on actual state laws and practices of your state or a state with which you are familiar. • Include a brief corrections plan created in the mode most appropriate for the level of offense, such as a recommendation memo to Child Protective Services or the school principal for a status offense, a letter to the judge regarding sentencing for a nonviolent offense, a proposal for a community intervention strategy, or a report to corrections for a violent offender.