Tuesday, December 09, 2014

In Re Jose O. (Cal. Ct. App. - Dec. 9, 2014)

Jose thinks that he should merely be a dependent of the court, not a delinquent.  But when the court summarizes your problems like this, you're not in an especially favorable situation:

"Jose has struggled to abide by the rules and regulations of his group homes. Jose has failed to obey the law . . . and has shown a pattern of delinquent,high-risk behavior. Jose appears to have issues regarding substance abuse and gangs. Jose poses a risk to himself and to the community and appears to be in need of supervision and immediate consequence. [¶] . . . Jose’s gang status has increased to a point that child welfare services have been ineffective in addressing his needs or the needs of the family. He has been AWOL from group home placement since September 10, 2013. During this time relatives knew of his whereabouts but remained voiceless about assisting in his return. Meanwhile, his criminal and gang issues exacerbated."

I'm not going to even attempt to list all of Jose's assaults, gang-related behavior, etc.  There's only so much (virtual) space on this blog.  Suffice it to say that Jose is, indeed, a delinquent.

Which is not to say that it's entirely Jose's fault.  "[T]here had been “37 referrals for the investigation of child abuse or neglect associated with [Jose’s] family' dating back to late 2002, when Jose was four years old. As a result of these referrals, several child-welfare cases were opened, the most recent resulting in Jose’s placement in the Antioch group home from which he had run away."  He's in part a product of his environment.

But at some point, we start holding you accountable for who you are and what you do.

Here, that's at the age of fifteen.