When processing juvenile offenders, police have discretion because they can issue a warning to a juvenile offender or bring the juvenile offender into custody. Often this discretion depends on factors such as the seriousness of the crime and the offender’s age and prior record. Police, in essence, serve as gatekeepers to the juvenile justice system because they often control how juvenile offenders are categorized. This discretion of the police in processing juvenile offenders may not always coincide with public opinion. Regardless, the police must consider how their actions might influence the future of juvenile offenders. The solution to juvenile delinquency is not always to incarcerate juveniles, but to determine the right course of action, given the circumstances of each case. In some cases, juvenile offenders will benefit more from diversion programs, in which they do not go through adjudication. In other cases, community corrections programs or incarceration may be more beneficial.
To prepare for this assignment:
Review the assigned pages in Chapter 13 of the course text, Juvenile Delinquency. Pay attention to factors that influence police discretion when processing juvenile offenders. Then consider how the processing of juvenile offenders might affect how they are categorized.
Review the assigned pages in Chapter 12 of the course text, Juvenile Delinquency. Focus on the concept of recidivism as it applies to juvenile offenders.
Review the assigned pages in Chapter 12 of the course text, Juvenile Delinquency. Focus on diversion programs and the degree to which they might reduce recidivism.
Review Chapter 15 in the course text, Juvenile Delinquency. Focus on community corrections and incarceration programs and their effectiveness in terms of reducing recidivism.
Select a specific diversion, community corrections, or incarceration program to use for this assignment. Note: You may select a program from the Learning Resources this week or you may use the Internet to find other programs of interest to you.
Consider the effectiveness of the program you selected in terms of reducing recidivism of juvenile offenders.
The assignment (1–2 pages):
Explain the discretion of the police in processing and, thus, categorizing juvenile offenders. Justify your explanation by using specific examples.
Briefly describe a specific diversion, community corrections, or incarceration program. Then, explain the degree to which you think it is effective for reducing recidivism. Be specific.
Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course.