Juvenile Justice in America 8th Edition by BartollasAnd Milleredolder – Test Bank


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Chapter Five

The Police




In the chapter-opening quote, the veteran police officer makes a passionate statement about the joys of becoming a police officer. He clearly sees policing more as a calling than as a job or a set of bureaucratically defined duties. He believes that policing demands the very best that a person has to offer. Once it gets into your blood, he warns, it will change your identity and self-image and will stay with you for the rest of your life. This officer, despite his positive attitude about a police career, has little interest in working with juveniles. With him, as well as with many officers, many problems exist in policing juveniles. Juvenile crimes are viewed as minor, and the arrest of a juvenile is not considered a real arrest. The due process rights accorded to juveniles in recent decades also make the police feel that their crime-fighting hands are tied. Furthermore, many juveniles, some of whom view the police as the enemy, distrust police officers. The police, then, must deal with juveniles’ hostile attitudes, which can become explosive and violent at a moment’s notice. Finally, the nature of juvenile crime is changing; the spread of malls, the explosion of drug use, and the proliferation of gangs have complicated the lives of police officers across the country.

Police officers are faced with juveniles whose misbehaviors range from drinking in parks to murder. At one end of the spectrum are status offenders who have conflicts with their parents, schools, and community but who are not true criminals in either behavior or intent. At the other end are the violent, repetitive offenders. These youths commit murder, aggravated assault, rape, and grand theft; some are in organized crime, and some deal in drugs. Between these extremes are varieties of runaways and mentally ill, dependent, neglected, abused, victimized, and delinquent youths.

The history of police–juvenile relationships in the United States is reviewed in this chapter, followed by juveniles’ attitudes toward the police, the cycle of alienation, factors that influence police discretion, the informal and formal dispositions of juvenile offenders, and the changing legal rights of juveniles. The final sections of this chapter consider police organizations and functions as they relate to juveniles, as well as the special challenges that juveniles’ drug use, gang involvement, and gun possession bring to community-based policing.





LO#1: Summarize the history of police–juvenile relationships

LO#2: Summarize the police’s attitudes toward juveniles

LO#3: Summarize juveniles’ attitudes toward the police

LO#4: Describe police discretion and the factors that influence discretion

LO#5: Summarize how police process juveniles

LO#6: Describe the Legal Rights of Arrested Juveniles

LO#7: Describe how police agencies are structured to deal with juvenile crime

LO#8: Summarize developing trends in how police deal with juveniles





What Is the History of Police–Juvenile Relations?

  1. Police Attitudes Toward Youth Crime


What Are Juveniles’ Attitudes Toward the Police?


How Does Police Discretion Affect the Police Response to Juveniles?


How Do Police Process Juveniles?

  1. Informal Options: On the Streets
  2. Informal Options: At the Station (Station House Adjustment)
  3. Combined Informal and Formal Processing
  4. Thinking Like a Corrections Professional
  5. Formal Processing: At the Station


What Legal Rights Do Juveniles Have with the Police?

  1. Search and Seizure
  2. Interrogation and Confession


Evidence-Based Practice Police Interrogation of Juveniles: An Empirical Study of Policy and Practice

  1. Fingerprinting
  2. Lineups and Photographs


Social Context of Juvenile Crime: The Police and the Prevention of Juvenile Offenses

  1. Community-Based Interventions
  2. School-Based Interventions


Juvenile School Resource Officer (SRO)

  1. Gang-Based Interventions


Formalizing Police Referral Programs





Chapter 5 has:

  • a new section on Police Attitudes Toward Youth Crime.
  • a new policy section on school police district (Los Angeles) agreed to rethink court citations for students.
  • a new career box on the juvenile school resource officer (SRO).

Chapter 5 further discusses the Baltimore Outward Bound Police Insight Program, which brings officers and middle school students together for a unique one day program.




  1. Group Work: Many members of the class have experienced contact with police officers traffic tickets, alcohol or drug queries, or other “events”) or know close friends who have. Discuss the nature of those contacts, the attitudes and behaviors of the police, and whether you (usually the women in class) “got off” because you cried. What were the attitudes and feelings after that contact and how do you evaluate those experiences? After small group discussions, “report out” to the class to determine what patterns existed in the observations.


  1. Group Work: Discuss each of the factors that influence police discretion. Which of those factors are legitimate factors that police should take into consideration and which are not? Should any special circumstances be taken into consideration when examining these factors? All groups should report out to the class as a whole for further discussion.


  1. Writing to Learn Exercise: Everyone should write for about twenty minutes on the following topics: The nature of police–juvenile relations in the community; and the different ways police can formally or informally process youths upon contact.


  1. Writing to Learn Exercise: All class members are to write two to three paragraphs on the search and seizure requirements of the police. Critique and revise.


  1. Class Debate: Split the class into two groups. Charge one group to develop the topic, Resolved: the police function with juveniles should be limited to order, societal protection, and control of juveniles through legal processing.” Charge the other group with the topic, “Resolved: the police should focus on prevention and the referral of juveniles to appropriate community agencies.” Give each group sufficient time to develop its arguments and have the groups debate the two topics in class. After one debate, have the groups switch arguments.





  1. What could be done to improve police acceptance in the lowest income communities?


A: Positive contacts tend to neutralize the effect of negative contacts.


  1. Should the police be more responsible for intervening in the lives of infants and children?


A: Answers will vary


  1. What are the most important legal rights of juveniles?


A: Search and Seizure: Juveniles, like adults, are protected from unauthorized search and seizure.


Interrogation Practices: Police must adhere to standards of fairness and due process in obtaining confessions.

Fingerprinting:  Police handle the fingerprinting of juveniles in a wide variety of ways; however, there is more consistency in how they destroy the records after their purpose has been served.


Pretrial Identification Practices: The photographing and placing of juveniles in lineups are controversial but are


  1. How would you evaluate the police’s attempts to prevent and deter delinquency?


A: Answers will vary

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