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In Re Antosz

OPINION FILED AUGUST 11, 1978.

IN RE JOHN ANTOSZ, A MINOR. — (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,

v.

JOHN ANTOSZ, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.)



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. PETER F. COSTA, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE MEJDA DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The minor respondent, John Antosz, was charged in a delinquency petition with the offense of burglary. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 19-1.) Pursuant to an admission, respondent was found delinquent, adjudicated a ward of the court, and committed to the Department of Corrections, Juvenile Division. The sole issue presented on review is whether the court erred in committing respondent to the Department of Corrections. We affirm. The pertinent facts follow.

Respondent was charged with the burglary of the apartment of Steven Wallace. Throughout the proceedings he was represented by the public defender. At the adjudicatory hearing on April 6, 1977, respondent requested to enter an admission to the charge. After fully advising him of his constitutional rights and of the consequences of entering an admission, and then proceeding to find a factual basis for the admission, the trial court found respondent delinquent and adjudged him a ward of the court. The case was then continued until April 26, 1977, for presentation of a social investigation and a full dispositional hearing.

At the dispositional hearing the court was informed that in addition to the instant case, two other petitions concerning respondent were pending before the court. Both petitions alleged that respondent had committed the offense of burglary; one on April 18, 1977, and the other on February 15, 1977.

A written social investigation was submitted by Probation Officer Boehm, received by the court, and made part of the record. The social investigation revealed that respondent was an unemployed, 16-year-old high school dropout, making his third appearance before the juvenile court. He had appeared on August 9, 1974, on a theft petition and received six months supervision, which was terminated satisfactorily. The second appearance was on a neglect petition which was dismissed for want of prosecution. In addition, respondent had had two station adjustments; one in 1973 involving an attempt theft, and the other in 1974 involving a theft.

Respondent readily admitted to Boehm during his interview that he had participated in the instant burglary, but he blamed his accomplices, stating that the burglary was their idea and he just went along with them. However, Boehm knew from speaking with the other boys involved in the burglary that respondent was equally guilty, and that he also was one of the originators in the burglary. Boehm could not determine whether respondent was remorseful to any degree.

The report also stated that respondent was looking for a job; however, Boehm was not impressed that "this is what he desires in life." Furthermore, he associated with boys who were known by Boehm to be burglars, and he would be appearing before the court again if he continued to associate with them. Respondent did not seem concerned with his ability to avoid trouble, and had no plans for his future.

Concerning his family background Boehm reported respondent was the third of seven children born to his mother. His parents had five children and were divorced in 1966. His father subsequently died in 1968. In 1971 his mother married her present husband and two more children were born.

It seems that the older children in the family were having difficulties getting along with their stepfather, who was attempting to use strict methods to control them. There is friction at home because the mother defends her boys against the stepfather. Respondent has a good relationship with his mother and the other children; however, he resents his stepfather's presence in the home. It is apparently this resentment that is causing him to act the way he has.

The report concluded that respondent's attitude was good, and "it seems that perhaps this boy has learned his lesson." A lengthy period of probation was recommended, along with a plan to get respondent a job or get him back into school.

Boehm also testified at the hearing that respondent had been sent away from Prosser High School and they refused to take him back. Boehm stated that respondent had indicated he was willing to go to summer school and that he (Boehm) could get respondent a summer job with the MCY program.

Defense counsel stated to the court that the source of respondent's trouble was that he had too much time on his hands. Respondent had been refused entrance to both Prosser and Foreman High Schools because of a supposedly bad record in grammar school. So for two years, since leaving grammar school, respondent had basically been idle.

Counsel also informed the court that respondent's mother had stated that she had no problems disciplining him. Respondent was around the house quite a bit, watched the younger children, and did work around the house. Respondent had also informed his counsel that he had made applications for various jobs, without success. He was willing to go to any school that would accept him since he was aware that without an education he would not be able to find a good job.

Defense counsel recommended a period of probation for respondent so that he could work with a probation officer, attend school, and perhaps find a job. The prosecutor joined in this recommendation but ...


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