CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - In the past few months police have arrested a handful of teenagers for crimes that, if found guilty, could put them away years longer than they've been alive. A professional educator has theories as to why crime and younger suspects have become synonymous.
"I don't think a lot of youth set out to do wrong," says Kevin L. Smith. "I believe people do what they believe is right and they do what they believe is expected of them."
Smith grew up playing basketball at Forest Park in West Ashley. Now he's watching court side and has a front row seat to the changing dynamic of today's youth.
"Some of our young people are doing things they can't come back from," says Smith. "And that's what we want them to stop doing. From doing that big thing that's really hard to come back from."
In the first five months of this year alone, police have arrested children as young as 17-years-old in association with crimes for everything from trying to break into ATMs with blow torches all the way to murder.
Smith says some kids don't have expectations on them growing up and that's when he says things go south.
"A young person has to feel connected to their family and parents have to realize they have to be the strongest influence in a young persons life," says the educator. "When they think about doing wrong they have someone who they're held accountable to."
And Smith says useless things are changed at the foundation of a child's life or mentoring is instituted, he expects that things will remain the same.