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As youth crime increases in Jonesboro, community concern grows



Little Rock, Arkansas – The rising number of adolescent offenses in Jonesboro has raised concerns throughout the community.

Given that more young people in Jonesboro are getting involved in crime, Chief Rick Elliott described what he is seeing as frightening and cause for serious concern.

“What’s really concerning is the violent crime that some of these youth are being involved in,” he said.

In recent months, Jonesboro police have responded to a number of calls every day, with more and more of those calls involving minors.

The Jonesboro Police Department reported that 977 minors were listed as suspects in crimes in 2022. That is an increase of 22% from 2021.

“Over the past couple of years, we have seen an increase in juvenile crime and the arrest of juveniles,” Elliott said.

The quantity of young people detained for violent offenses is the one that worries Elliott.

In 2022, 76 children under the age of 17 were detained for violent offenses, a rise of 55% from 2021.

Juan Pasillas, 15, who was a suspect in a series of shootings, will be tried as an adult.

In late February 2023, according to court records, the youngster fired at a car containing a woman and her son.

“The number of encounters officers have with these kids,” Elliott said. “Especially the ones with guns then the intel we are getting from the streets about kids and guns and activities going on associated with it, it’s concerning.”

According to him, recent adolescent arrests like Pasillas could temporarily put a stop to the crime.

The Jonesboro Police Department is also collaborating with neighborhood groups to develop a proactive strategy.

Elliott claimed that while he is worried, it is the same worry he has every day since he has witnessed kids becoming involved in the wrong things.

Elliott stated that in order to aggressively prevent young violent crimes, he is collaborating with the prosecutor.