(ReclaimingAmerica.net) – FBI Director Christopher Wray is blaming the spiking juvenile crime nationwide on the effect of the coronavirus pandemic, including the fact that many youngsters haven’t gone “back to the classroom” after the school shutdowns.
Wray’s COVID-19-related explanation for what has been described as a juvenile crime spree came on Thursday as he gave testimony to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
In his words, the pandemic lockdowns have stimulated the development of gangs and the usage of drugs and guns among youth, which in turn is fueling a broader crime spike.
“We are seeing, and I hear this from chiefs and sheriffs all the time, as well as our own agents, an alarming uptick in the incidence of juveniles engaging in violence, often graduating from carjackings to even worse violence,” Wray told the US lawmakers.
“This is a real challenge for the legal system because we’re not set up to very effectively deal with crimes committed by minors,” he added, as cited by The Washington Times.
He insisted that “juveniles who post-COVID have not returned to school” were a significant part of the problem.
“That may contribute to the juvenile effect,” the FBI chief stated.
Wray’s pandemic-focused answer came as he responded to a question by Georgia US Senator Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, who wondered what had brought about the intensification of violent crime in his state and nationwide.
Besides the juvenile crime spree, Wray pointed to prosecutorial discretion or “bail practices” and backlogs as factors allowing criminals to get away with various types of crime.
“There are too many criminals that are being released back onto the streets,” he stated while insisting that wasn’t a universal trend.
At the same time, Wray stressed that some high-profile criminals get access to cell phones behind bars and manage to “orchestrate violence” from there.
In his Senate committee testimony, the FBI director didn’t mention any specific communities across the nation that have been affected by these factors.
According to data from the Major Cities Chiefs Association, violent crime, such as robberies and assaults, has spiked in the 70 cities surveyed this year, even though rape and homicide rates declined.
According to Justice Department data, the current juvenile crime spree appears to reverse a pre-pandemic trend in which youth’s violent crime rate has been declining.
Thus, while in the mid-1990s, youth arrests for violent crimes rose above 140,000 per year, in 2020, the number was below 40,000.
“Those who track the issue say youth crime rates rose with the pandemic, and with more gentle approaches to offenders,” the report said.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) November 17, 2022