It’s hard to imagine a child doing such a thing.

It’s possible that the 14-year-old boy that murdered then raped the innocent 10-year-old in Wisconsin was leading a normal life before he killed her.

Out of the blue murderous psychosis in normal people is rare.

It’s not likely that this boy led a normal life prior to this violence.

As a volunteer CASA child advocate in Child Protective Services, I’ve seen many traumatized children act on their violent thoughts – and then carry those thoughts and behaviors into adulthood.

This explains why prison recidivism at 9 years is reaching 90%.

It is more likely that this boy grew up being *brutalized or watching his mother or siblings treated violently.

The trauma of being beaten and raped or watching your mother being beaten and raped is about the same.

Trauma changes how we view the world and how we act in the world.

It’s not easy unteaching brutality and violence to a child once it’s become part of their everyday childhood experience.

We the people are outraged about this terrible act of violence and will keep this boy in prison for the rest of his life.

There are 19 states with a juvenile death penalty still on the books. Wisconsin is not one of them.

Had this crime been committed where juvenile executions are allowed, it would cost the State 1.26 million dollars (on average) to kill him.

Today, it will cost the State $2,318,000.00 if the boy lives to 74 to keep him in prison (without including any inflation). If the boy were kept in Rikers facility in NY the cost would be $556,000/year or, $33,360,000.00 if the boy lives to 74 (without including any inflation).

None of this includes the loss suffered by Lilly, her family, the people of Chippewa Falls or those families with young daughters that will suffer worry and anxiety for years to come because of this tragedy.

Tax dollars could be saved if we spent a portion of our incarceration dollars on the wellbeing of damaged children.

More counsellors in schools and police departments would go a long way towards recognizing and treating the mental health and behavior problems so many children have today.

Send this article to your State Rep and ask them

to support mental health initiatives.


This article submitted by long time CASA guardian ad Litem Mike Tikkanen

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*Neglect of a child is also brutal and traumatizing to the child.

#Lilly Peters