Second offense crimes among youth like Chad Holley case are fairly common

Chad Holley will go to jail for six months for a burglary last year.
June 15, 2012 2:48:40 PM PDT
Teen burglar Chad Holley was back in court Friday with several supporters by his side. In taking a closer look at his case, we started looking at young offenders as a whole and what we found shows us his recent arrest really shouldn't come as a surprise.

Researchers say the recidivism rate of second offense crimes involving youth is slightly down, but unfortunately they say the instances are fairly common in this community.

Dressed in a blue shirt and tie, Chad Holley entered the courthouse Friday morning with his mother and a team of supporters by his side. It was a far different look than the orange jailhouse suit we watched the teen wearing before a judge on Thursday morning after he was charged in a new burglary arrest.

"He needs help, he needs assistance and there are some ongoing internal issues that need to be addressed," said community activist Quanell X.

Holley has been a familiar name ever since Eyewitness News obtained a copy of a videotaped beating in 2010 showing Houston police officers kicking and stomping him during a different burglary arrest. Holley was 15 at that time.

Dr. Robert Sanborn with Children at Risk, a non-profit think tank that analyzes data on trends affecting kids, says it's not uncommon for juvenile offenders to relapse into a life of crime. Sanborn says in Houston about 25 percent of arrested youth get into the juvenile justice system.

"Of those that get into the system, about 60 percent usually within the first year commit another crime or return to a life of crime," said Dr. Sanborn.

The most recent state numbers show the top second-offense crimes for juveniles involved drugs, theft and assaults. Dr. Sanborn says economics, education and mental health are all factors contributing to recidivism rates.

"About 50 percent of the kids in the juvenile justice system have diagnosed mental illness," Dr. Sanborn said.

Holley's supporters this week revealed that he is affected by mental health matters. They say the teen has been off his medicine for about five weeks now.

Holley, 18, is due back in court in July.

Chad Holley makes another court appearance Friday

Teenage burglary suspect Chad Holley was back in court Friday morning, just one day after he bonded out of jail. So what's next for the young man who allegedly committed another criminal act after all the controversy surrounding his last arrest?

This new burglary case against Holley comes two years after community activists came to his defense. A videotape showed police officers beating him up after he broke into a home.

Holley arrived to the courthouse early Friday morning for his latest court appearance. He arrived with community activist Quanell X, his mother and several other people.

Holley was charged with burglary of habitation on Thursday. When the judge Friday asked Holley if he had an attorney, Holley said he didn't, and chose to hire his own attorney instead of using a state-appointed attorney.

After the brief court appearance, Quanell X explained why he is now helping Holley out, after learning that Holley suffers from some sort of mental illness. While he wouldn't further elaborate on the illness, he says he feels that helping Holley is the right thing to do. He adds that he was unaware of any mental illness prior to this last arrest, and says he wishes he would have known this, in order to help keep Holley on track and out of trouble.

"Now that we do know these things, we want to help him more because God is not finished with Chad Holley yet," Quanell X said. "We're not going to throw this young man into the garbage pail. He needs help, he needs assistance. There are some ongoing internal issues that need to be addressed."

Quanell X added that another reason he is helping Holley at this point is because he can relate to mental illness, telling us his own mother has battled mental illness her whole life, and he has seen the effects firsthand. He says this is why he wants to help Holley and his mother.

Holley's next court appearance has been rescheduled for July 18. As for the other three young men who were arrested with Holley on Wednesday during that burglary, they remain in custody. Two of them have elected to use a court-appointed attorney, while the other has hired an attorney of his own.

Holley is already known to many in Houston after a video was released showing Holley being beaten by Houston police officers. Out of the four to face charges for that beating, one has been acquitted of any charges and three more officers are still awaiting trial.

Eyewitness News has been following the Chad Holley case since the first burglary arrest. You can see all of our reports here.


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