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NCJ Number: 206605 Find in a Library
Title: Police Work With Juveniles: Discretion, Model Programs, and School Police Resource Officers (From Juvenile Justice Sourcebook: Past, Present, and Future, P 199-215, 2004, Albert R. Roberts, ed. -- See NCJ-206597)
Author(s): William J. Flynn; Brian McDonough
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Oxford University Press, Inc
New York, NY 10016
Sale Source: Oxford University Press, Inc
198 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
United States of America
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter examines police discretion in the context of street-level encounters between the police and juveniles, with attention to antigang community policing, model juvenile delinquency prevention programs, and the use of school police resource officers.
Abstract: An operational definition for "police discretion" is "an official action taken by a criminal justice official based on the individual's judgment about the best course of action." This decisionmaking process involves value judgments, situational factors, personality characteristics (both officer and offenders), available resources, political climate, geography, and departmental policy. Some situational factors that influence a police officer's decision about whether or not to make an arrest are the seriousness of the crime, the strength of the evidence, the preference of the victim, the relationship between the victim and the suspect, and the suspect's demeanor. The improper use of discretion can have negative and even illegal consequences, including the denial of due process and equal protection under the law, the undermining of police-community relations, and the creation of dangerous working conditions for police officers. The use of police discretion to divert juveniles from formal juvenile justice processing is most likely to be effective when backed by referral resources that address the problem behaviors that occasioned police contact with the youth. This chapter describes particular programs that illustrate how police can interact with community resources (schools, neighborhood activists, religious leaders, child protection advocates, etc.) to improve discretionary decisionmaking, reduce youth violence, and improve police-juvenile community relations. The programs profiled are the School Resource Officer Program, the Juvenile Aid Bureau Program, the G.R.E.A.T. Program, and the Operation Ceasefire Program. Separate sections of the chapter are devoted to gangs and police responses to them, the work of school resource officers, specialized police training for dealing with youth-related problems, and policies and youth programs that work. 23 references
Main Term(s): Police juvenile relations
Index Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs; Police discretion; Police juvenile diversion; School security officers
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