UPDATED: University of Georgia football head coach Mark Richt announced Friday that Crowell had been dismissed from the team.
Popular University of Georgia football player Isaiah Crowell was arrested Friday morning and charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor. His bond was set at $7,500 and he remains in Athens-Clarke County Jail.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the sophomore from Columbus, Ga. was booked at 3:37 a.m. and charged with carrying a concealed weapon, a misdemeanor, and felony possession of a weapon in a school zone. Crowell was also charged with possessing a weapon with an altered ID mark, a felony.
Crowell was driving on UGA campus when he was stopped at a vehicle checkpoint. The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that as he came through, an officer smelled an odor of marijuana. Crowell consented to a search of his vehicle. No marijuana was found, but a 9-mm Luger handgun with an altered serial number was found beneath the driver’s seat.
The UGA student handbook claims that any arrest results in an immediate suspension. The independent student newspaper at UGA, The Red and Black, reports that this is not Crowell’s first time in trouble. He was benched last year for unknown reasons during a game against Vanderbilt. Crowell also sat out the entire game against New Mexico State after failing a drug test.
As with all college sports related incidents, social media is filled with student and fan responses.
Photo from Shot of Gin.
An amended law that took effect July 1 made Mississippi the latest state to rethink how youth under the age of 18 are handled in criminal court. The new measure prevents most 17-year-old misdemeanor and nonviolent felony offenders from being tried as adults. Certain felonies including rape, murder and armed robbery may still warrant charges in the adult court system.
Two other states, Connecticut and Illinois, passed similar reforms earlier this year bringing the national total to 39 states that view juveniles as any individual below the age of 18, according to a report issued last week by the Campaign for Youth Justice.
“This is a good news report.” Liz Ryan, director of the Campaign for Youth Justice, -- a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit focused on the issue -- told USA Today. “This really shows that there is a turning tide in the way states are treating kids in the juvenile justice system.”
Some juvenile advocates consider the amendment a positive change in the treatment of youthful offenders, but Mississippi law enforcement and juvenile officials worry it could adversely impact an already over-burdened Youth Court system.
“It’s going to create a tremendous pressure on our juvenile justice system with no increase in resource,” Harrison County Youth Court Judge Margaret Alfonso told the (Biloxi-Gulfport) Sun Herald. “So, it’s creating pressure on a system that’s already pressed.”
Legislators in Mississippi amended the law following state budget cuts that reduced bed space and maximum detention times, among other things, in juvenile facilities. But officials failed to allocate additional funds to the Youth Court system to deal with added expenses and growing number of offenders.
It costs states more to incarcerate offenders in juvenile than adult facilities due to health, counseling and other obligations, but juvenile inmates tend to have a lower recidivism rate than their counterparts in the adult system, according to the same Campaign for Youth Justice report.
Nationally, the United States has witnessed a five-year trend of states rethinking how juveniles are handled in the criminal justice system in large part due to research in adolescent brain development.
Crimes committed by minors aren’t always done with malice because they can’t fully distinguish right from wrong, Gina Vincent, assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, told JJIE at a brain development conference in early May.
Only 11 states, including Georgia, still try offenders younger than 18 in adult courts for nonviolent offenses. Roughly 250,000 offenders under the age of 18 are prosecuted in adult courts annually, according to the Campaign for Youth Justice report.