Juvenile crime in Memphis is on the rise, but help is available

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Juvenile crime is rising in Shelby County is on the rise. On Monday, Memphis Police announced the arrest of a 10-year-old boy, part of a larger investigation into auto thefts in the area that resulted in seven total children being taken into police custody.

RELATED: Joint police operation leads to 14 arrests including 7 children, officials say

The news of that 10-year-old’s arrest came just two weeks after two 15-year-olds allegedly shot and killed a Memphis pastor outside of her Whitehaven home.

Those two 15-year-olds are charged with the murder of Reverend Doctor Autura Eason-Williams and Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich has announced that she will seek to try them as adults.

In court on Monday, August 1, the children’s attorney asked for a 30-day mental evaluation. These cases are shedding a light on a big issue: juvenile crime as a whole across Shelby County.

“It’s awful. It’s sad,” said Tamika Davis with the Shelby County Youth and Family Resource Center. “I literally tear up when I think about the situation.”

RELATED: Teens accused in murder of Memphis pastor make first court appearance

Davis said there are several reasons children commit crimes.

“What we know from research is that teens and children deal with grief differently than adults,” said Davis.

The Youth and Family Resource Center in Raleigh provides a way out for kids showing at-risk behavior at school or in the community.

“No one is going to like to hear this, but the number one reason in many cases has to do with supervision. We need better supervision,” said Davis.

Davis said another reason children commit crimes is undiagnosed mental health illnesses.

“Here at the center, we plan to make sure we get ahead of that. We will have a psychologist here,” said Davis.

If you believe your child or a child you know is going down the wrong path, the resource center can help.

“We do full assessments, which includes mental health assessment,” said Davis.

The center targets the entire family offering resources to parents as well.

”What’s going on with mom? Is there a lack of resources in terms of working or housing?” said Davis

There are even resources families can get right away.

“Each week we offer a grief group that is offered for teens between 13 through 17. We will soon offer a mental health tele-suites,” said Davis.

If you have a child in mind, click here for more information about referring.