Juvenile Offender Case Studies
CJS/245 Version 4
University of Phoenix Material
Juvenile Offender Case Studies
CASE STUDY ONE: COLLEEN M.
Colleen M. is a 15-year-old Caucasian girl. She has lived in the state for her entire life. Her father
abandoned the 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
Colleen’s current trouble is centered on a neighbor’s dispute about her dog. After the dog bit the
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 her 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. Colleen claims that she was simply
attempting to douse the fire.
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, though 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 and that she misses her
CASE STUDY TWO: XANDER L.
Xander L. is a 17-year-old African American male and documented gang member. His prior
juvenile adjudications include purse snatching, breaking and entering, and drug possession. His
first juvenile adjudication occurred when he was 13 years old. He has served a year of custody in
the juvenile correctional facility and has been placed on probation twice previously. His latest
arrest is for possession of a concealed weapon, to which he has pled guilty.
Xander lives with his mother in the housing projects. He reports no contact with his father. His
mother presently works two jobs. Although she is supportive of him, and Xander reports a close
relationship with his mother, she does not approve of his conduct. In the past, she has reported
him to the police. Xander indicates that he has dropped out of high school, but would like to get
his general equivalency diploma to make his mother proud.
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