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  1. How police interacting with juveniles




    How police interacting with juveniles at a young age changes the future of society by building a relationship with the public.
    This leads to a bond and relationship that will eventually lead to a life time long relationship with local law enforcement that will cut down on crime and build a safer community because of the trust between officers and its community built through years of good communication. for example, juveniles will think twice about committing crimes because they know the officers and they do not want to disappoint them. 2nd, juveniles now have someone to talk to or turn to in their community when they may come from a broken home and may not have anyone else. 3rd this changes the outcome of that juvenile which will grow up and have a mutual respect and relationship with their local law enforcement which will cut back on future crime. Lastly when they become adults the will assist in reporting crime as or before it occurs leading to a safer society because the extra eyes and ears on the street.



Subject Law and governance Pages 9 Style APA


How Police Interacting with Juveniles at a Young age Changes the Future of Society by Building a Relationship with the Public      


Forging working partnerships between police departments on one hand, and the youth, and human services organizations on the other has been marked in diverse literature for immediate action in light of growing concern regarding the intersection of children in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Undeniably, youth in this category are today termed “crossover youth,” as their lives characteristically begin in the child welfare system, before transiting through foster care to the juvenile justice system. Studies have consistently pointed out that the predictable overlap which integrates many family members, is often cross-generational, and attracts a considerable amount of agency resources (Pollack, 2017). This paper scrutinizes the concept of police interaction with juveniles at a young age and how such a possibility may change the future of society by building a relationship with the public. Specifically focus is made on positive results of interactions between police and juveniles which are idealized, and subsequently, identified as improved police-youth relations, improved involvement of police in positive youth programs, and increased number of police officers who are experienced with and comfortable interacting with youth in non-enforcement activities. In contrast, police interactions with juveniles are also associated with negative outcomes such as heightened worries of violence, and a continued hostility, in a mutually reinforcing way. Current discussion draws from many studies to establish a positive relationship between moral engagement, police justice, and nonviolent juvenile behavior with police interaction with juveniles at a young age.

Positive Effects of Interactions between Police and Juveniles

Improved police-youth relations

An assessment of a community-based intermediation plan intended to encourage positive youth growth and to craft progressive connections between police and youth in a “non-enforcement environment” have been investigated by Lee, Heafner, Sabatelli and LaMotte (2017). The study, proposes constructive police and youth programs as a positive model for enhancing police-youth relationships. An assessment of the plan by “pre- and post- tests” of both police and youth representatives report positive police outlooks toward the youth due to lessons learnt from their engagement with the plan irrespective of the gender, race, ethnicity, or duration of service of the concerned officers (Lee, Heafner, Sabatelli & LaMotte, 2017). Similarly, the youth were found to espouse more positive attitudes toward the police as a direct consequence of involvement in such programs. In addition, the study revealed that perceptions of the youth towards the police changed faster for both youth from non-white backgrounds and victims of previous altercations with the police. Accordingly, Lee, Heafner, Sabatelli, and LaMotte (2017) concur that such collaborations may increase chances of youth and police engagement to the advantage of community by stimulating constructive youth engagement as well as raising the number of police officers with requisite knowledge and experience in youth in non-enforcement undertakings.

Increased Involvement of Police in Positive Youth Development

Prospects of police programs engendering positive youth development have been enhanced by time-honored and innovative engagements between the police and the youth. Since such programs are initiated from the side of law enforcement, they are believed to be intended to facilitate communication and foster interactions with the youth and the wider public in a spontaneous way. For instance, Lee, Heafner, Sabatelli, and LaMotte (2017) cites the Police Athletic League (PAL) as an effective plan for that can instigate greater outcomes for the youth. The plan is described as an effective plan anchored on the belief that the police and the communities simultaneously gain in atmospheres of positive and productive relationships. However, a new innovative program, referred to as Strategies for Youth (SFY) established in 2009, has been recently been emphasized as a national agency that is mainly dedicated to cultivating police–youth relations, and promoting training public safety officers on matters of child and youth welfare and psychosocial care, and supporting communities to entrench strong police-youth partnerships. Also, SFY’s “Policing the Teen Brain” programs have been identified with five types of youth focused community based organizations to work together with officers. Reviewed literature so far credits both programs, and others not considered in this paper with the benefit of escalating enforcement officers’ responsiveness to these programs in their communities of operation as well as to inspire them to link with program staff. In the final analysis, increased communication and interpersonal engagements during the trainings will enable SFY to empower officers with information on less martial alternatives to demeaning arrests and increased access to community based options for youth in need of additional support.

Increasing the number of police officers who are experienced with and comfortable interacting with youth in non-enforcement activities

Benefits of police interactions with juveniles at a young age have been understood from studies by DeCunzo (2017) focusing on the police decision-making and the initial detention of juveniles. The study specifically found that police decisions can be greatly improved from positive engagements with the juvenile communities as such for a can produce a direct impact on juvenile outcomes. This is particularly relevant in the United States where the law authorizes police officers to exercise discretion in the execution of various aspects of their roles. As discretion is mainly applicable to determination of future outcomes for adults, as it is applicable to matters affecting the youth as well, it is inevitable that the police officer should be experienced and comfortable interacting with youth in non-enforcement activities. Consequently, it is necessary for the law enforcement officer to comprehend the conditions under which law enforcers go beyond commencing contact with the youth to escalating the plan to initial detention. The consequences of police association with youth across various points of contact are determined by flexible decision-making as determined by several circumstantial dynamics. These forces include legal factors such as severity of an offense and previous criminal record and societal factors such as scale of community violence social inefficiency and racial and ethnic composition of the community (Leiber & Boggess 2012; Maggard, 2015). In addition, understanding of context specific factors such as attitude and behavioral factors, dealings with aberrant peers and other factors relating to the youth can only be internalized when enforcement departments engage meaningfully with them (Pollack 2014). The study by DeCunzo (2017) outlines the importance of discretion by focusing on Montana law enforcement officers. The officers are granted constitutional freedom of choice in the performance of duties relating to the decision to arrest and initially detain a youth (Pollack, 2017). Specifically, concerning initial detention, the law requires that on every occasion that the “peace officer believes, on reasonable grounds that the youth must be detained, the peace officer shall notify the juvenile probation officer immediately and shall, as soon as practicable, provide the juvenile probation officer with a written report of the peace officer’s reasons for holding the youth in detention” (Pollack, 2017). By inference, we can conclude that this scale of discretion highlights the significance of understanding various forces that determine and influence police decision-making. The foregoing feat can only be attained when police department continue with constructive engagements with the youth.

Negative Outcomes associated with police-juvenile interactions  

Apart from positive aspects of police interactions with juveniles, available literature also suggests that police contact with the youth can produce aggravating negative effects (Pollack, 2017). For instance, studies by Theriot (2016) highlights inherent cracks in the school safety program as a contemporary indicator of the disadvantages of sustained youth interactions with law enforcement. Specifically, studies have associated the deployment of school resource officers (SROs), or law enforcement officers to schools and juvenile learning institutions with negative attitudes of students towards law enforcement officers. Despite the fact that school safety programs have been in operation from the middle of the 20th century, recent school shootings such as Littleton, Colorado, and Jonesboro and public concerns about “lethal violence and safety needs at schools” have seen an increase in the number of SROs in schools. In school settings, the SROs variously referred to as school police officers or school liaison officers principally tasked with maintenance of “law and order” and are additionally expected to be vital figures at their schools. Further, the SRO’s duties include patrolling school buildings, open spaces, conducting investigations of felonious grievances, and extending support with student discipline. A number of studies, namely, Theriot (2016) argue that the focus on “visible and active patrolling”  buttress the routine activity theory of crime prevention as the strategy is intended to reduce chances of mischief or criminal inclinations. SROs also are also responsible for enlightening students and staff on personal security, prevention of violence, and modelling students’ behavior towards appropriate and courteous behavior (Theriot, 2016). It is worth noting that the law enforcement officers are typically armed and uniformed and are recipients of wide-ranging training in issues related to school-based law enforcement, and teen-age growth and development. As pointed out, the SROs actual training coupled with the expectation that they should execute roles that exceed correctional, crime prevention, and law and order characterize SROs as different from ordinary law enforcement officers who perform law enforcement duties exclusively. The vastness of the breath and scope of their jobs in schools also breeds the expectation that they should play conspicuous roles in schools. It is also sensible to presume that SROs exert some positive impact on students’ behavior specifically, and perceptions of school, generally. However, both Pollack (2017) and Theriot (2016) have contended that presence of SROs will increase students’ worries of violence and so unfavorably present the school environment in bad light. The study by Theriot (2016) specifically focused on 230 high school students, showed that the vast majority idealized school police officers as necessary for keeping schools safer. However, the same students did not support increasing the number of SROs in schools. The study also showed that school police officers and other security approaches had little consequence on the frequency of drugs and weapons at schools (Theriot, 2016). Contrastingly, the study showed that middle schools and high schools which had a law enforcement officer reported reduced apprehensions for “weapons possession and assault charges” but considerably more detentions for orgies than schools that did not benefit from deployment of law enforcement.

Closing paragraph

Findings from this paper reveal a deficiency of research data on moral detachment among offending teenagers. Specifically, additional research is needed to facilitate the discovery and interrogation of other possible factors or specific kinds of moral reasoning strategies that relate more potently with delinquency than others. For instance, as already pointed out negative experiences of youth in the hands of law enforcement have resulted in reduced respect for the police and ingrained sentiments of hostility towards them. Therefore, owing to the aforestated experiences, youth who are conscious of justice may show heightened proclivity to develop moral detachment strategies that seem to justify their actions under the dust of lack of respect for have been linked with the aforesaid undesirable results. Increased perception of threat emanating from hurtful proclamations by police compared to other types of moral reasoning, such as cognitive reorganization, reduction of personal responsibility for negative actions, and shifting blame to the victims of one’s aberrant acts. Additionally, as numerous works have established a positive relationship between poor perceptions of police by the youth, the proposed interventions targeting the moral disengagements is essential. Such interventions should go beyond identification moral disengagement procedures to facilitating the youth to pinpoint alternative approaches to moral detachment as efficacious intervention toolkits for holistic development of responsible youth. 


All things considered, the foregoing assessment of impacts of police interaction with juveniles at a young age and changes to the future of society by building a relationship with the public, recommends such synergetic partnerships for keeping society safer. Specifically, this paper identifies positive relationship between moral engagement, police justice, and nonviolent juvenile behavior as essential for a healthy police interaction with juveniles at a young age. The domino effect of such healthy relations should extend to greater benefits for the society as a whole in future. The benefits of interactions between police and juveniles have been identified as necessary for enhancing police-youth relations, improving involvement of law enforcement officers in positive youth programs, and increased number of experienced and competent police officers capable of interacting with youth in non-enforcement activities. This paper has also outlined an undesirable outcome of police interactions with juveniles in terms of heightened fear of targeted violence by law enforcement, and a continued hostility, in which perpetuates distrust in a mutually reinforcing way.


DeCunzo, T. G. (2017). Police Decision-Making and the Initial Detention of Juveniles.

Lee, H., Heafner, J., Sabatelli, R. M., & LaMotte, V. (2017). Side-by-side: An evaluation of Connecticut’s police and youth interaction model. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment27(8), 806-816.

Leiber, M. J., & Boggess, L. N. (2012). Race, probation violations, and structured secure detention decision making in three jurisdictions. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice10(4), 333-353.

Maggard, S. R. (2015). Assessing the impact of the juvenile detention alternatives initiative (JDAI): Predictors of secure detention and length of stay before and after JDAI. Justice Quarterly32(4), 571-597.

Pollack, D. (2017). Forging a Partnership Between Police, Youth, and Human Services Agencies.

Theriot, M. T. (2016). The impact of school resource officer interaction on students’ feelings about school and school police. Crime & Delinquency62(4), 446-469.

Zapolski, T. C., Banks, D. E., Lau, K. S., & Aalsma, M. C. (2018). Perceived police injustice, moral disengagement, and aggression among juvenile offenders: Utilizing the general strain theory model. Child Psychiatry & Human Development49(2), 290-297.


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