Improving Oklahoma's juvenile justice system

Tuesday, January 17th 2006, 3:29 pm
By: News On 6

The sheer number of violent acts committed by kids have law enforcement wondering if Oklahoma's juvenile justice system is doing its job. They say they get the troublemakers off the streets, then the courts release them back to a life of crime.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood talked with a juvenile court judge and that judge agreed that the juvenile justice system needs help and needs it fast.

Tulsa County Court Judge Doris Fransein has seen hundreds of juvenile offenders come before her bench. Over the past several years, she says the system has become less effective. She says Oklahoma's treatment programs aren't enough to break the cycle of addiction and influence that leads kids to become lifelong criminals.

She says they need more money. More money would mean more room, more manpower, and more programs, that Judge Fransein thinks would not only make a dent in the number of kid criminals, but adults as well. "Kids, people normally start their addiction process nowadays in middle school. So where would the best prevention moneys placed to prevent the adult issues? Juvenile! There's nothing."

Judge Fransein thinks the system will get better, she just doesn't know when.