JuvenileJustice and Law Enforcement
JuvenileJustice and Law Enforcement
Question1(Challenges Facing Law Enforcement in the United States)
Overthe time, one of the departments that have undergone different andtremendous changes in the United States is the justice department,and especially, the fight against criminal activities. Lawenforcement, especially at the level of policing has faced a lot ofchallenges in the United States. While the police officersrationalize their acts as ways of protecting the community, thecommunity members in many of the states sometimes think that thereare exaggerations in the way the police officers handle them. Lawenforcement has undergone changes in response to the worries raisedby community members. Nonetheless, it is during such transformationthat it has faced even more challenges. Some of the challengesinclude:
RacialProfiling,this entails the mentality of harboring an intrinsic sense ofsuspicion to a particular race of community members. That is, lawenforcement officers suspecting a particular race to be more likelyto commit crimes and thus display more strict behaviors towards them.However, in an attempt to solve this problem, bills have beenintroduced to the senate that will ensure that all check points areunder surveillance. Records of the race of people being stopped andthe frequency are hence being monitored (CRS, nd).
Recruitingand retaining skilled workforce. Overthe years, there has been a problem in the exercise of policerecruitment, which to get police officers who are adequately skilled.Or perhaps even more challenging is maintaining skilled personnel inthe law enforcement agencies. The law enforcement agencies have,however, attempted to tackle the problem by ensuring the adequacy ofcompensation plans and the recognition of exceptional work done bythe officers (Wilson, Dalton, Scheer & Grammich, 2010). Anotherchallenge that has over time been experienced in the efforts ofenforcing the law, is the lack of collaboration between the differentsecurity agencies. However, this case has been resolved as differentforces shares information and intelligence between law enforcementagencies (Best, 2015).
Question2.Functions of Police in Relation to Juvenile Crime
Theroles of police officers in the management of juvenile crime arediverse and have undergone changes over the years. First of all,although the regulations on arresting or summoning juvenile offendersare quite similar in juveniles and adults, law enforcers are requiredto think more critically on the side of juveniles (Bartollas, &Miller, 2011). They ought to ask themselves whether it is necessaryfor the juvenile to be summoned or escorted to the policedepartments. Secondly, the police officers are responsible for thereferral of juvenile offenders to juvenile courts. In fact, manyjuvenile offenders are referred to the courts by the police. On theother hand, another role is handling status offenses such asviolating curfews, skipping school etc. This is one of the rolechanges that police officers have seen over the years. Other rolesinclude the commonly known such as photography and finger-printtaking.
Theattitude of juveniles to the officers has not changed much becauseeven today, teenagers (under age 18) tend to be non-cooperative topolice officers when it comes to disclosing of information. Oneexample is when a teen has important information, but is unwilling todisclose it because he/she does not trust the law enforcementofficer. This can also be seen in interviews between the officers andjuveniles. Because, the juvenile is not fully developed mentally,they have the tendency to be swayed by the direction of questions ofthe officers. Thus, they may lie just to give the officer what hewants to hear. This is perhaps because of fear (Bartollas, &Miller, 2011).
Question3.Community Oriented Policing (COP) versus Problem Oriented Policing(POP)
Therise of criminal activities in the US in the early 80’s challengedthe law enforcement departments to act responsively. As a result, twoapproaches to curbing the crime rate were developed, namely communityoriented policing and problem oriented policing. When comparing thetwo approaches on the perspective of juvenile crimes, COP is moreeffective. This is because COP focuses on preventing the crimes.Community oriented policing works hand in hand with community membersand therefore it is easier to reach out to the juveniles. Thecontinued contact with the juveniles makes it easier to build trustwith them. This will in turn make it easier to influence thejuveniles against committing juvenile offenses.
Lackof trust to the police by the juveniles coupled with fear of thepolice is contributed by the way juveniles think. If a juvenile seesa police officer arresting a criminal, they automatically regard theofficers as violent. Problem oriented policing is associated withmore violent arrests because it deals with actual problems, unlikeCOP which is greatly involved in preventing the crimes. Taking intoaccount of all the above, COP would effectively work in ourcommunity. The community members, and precisely the family, need tobe actively involved in the success of reducing juvenile crime rate.This can optimally be achieved by Community oriented policing.
Best,R. (2015). SharingLaw Enforcement and Intelligence Information: The Congressional Role(1st Ed.). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved fromhttp://fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RL33873.pdf
Bartollas,C., & Miller, S.J. (2011). Juvenile justice in America (6th Ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
CRS.H.R.838- 113th Congress (2013-2014): Racial Profiling Prevention Act |Congress.gov | Library of Congress.Congress.gov.Retrieved 4 March 2015, fromhttps://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/838
Wilson,J., Dalton, E., Scheer, C., & Grammich, C. (2010). PoliceRecruitment and Retention for the New Millennium(1st Ed.). RAND Corporation. Retrieved fromhttp://ric-zai-inc.com/Publications/cops-p199-pub.pdf