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You will prepare a short paper about a current news article/storyrelating to the juvenile justice system. The story must be taken from the news on the week that the student is submitting it. The paper should be 2 pages in length, double-spaced. The paper must be in your own words. It must be written in narrative form.Proper grammar and punctuation is also required.

Directions: Find an article either in the newspaper or online from a reputable national or local news source. Read the article and fill out the statements or answer the questions below. You may not use articles from entertainment/gossip sources. Because this is a juvenile justice current events assignment you are to choose an article that is no more than a week old from when the assignment is given. Be sure to check the rubric for this assignment to complete all the requirements for this assignment. You must connect the article with at least two things that you have learned from the class. Provide a full APA style citation to the article at the end. 

For your response: 

Summarize the article. Do not simply copy a news event. Explain the event in your own words. (1 paragraph)

Incorporate all the following questions into your response: 

A. Express your opinion about the information in the article. B. Explain how the articles ties in to material you have learnt in classC. Is what you know about the juvenile justice system accurately represented in this article? Explain.D. What questions does this raise for you?

Policing and juveniles

Chapter 7

In this chapter we will first take a look at the history of police and juvenile relations, the evolution of community policing, legal aspects of policing as related to juveniles, and police discretion,.


Role of police

Arresting youth

Processing delinquents and status offenders

Preventing juvenile delinquency

Protecting juveniles from victimization


19th century: increase in number of unemployed and homeless youths

Wickersham Commission, IACP advocated police reform

Development of delinquency control squads

Vollmer (Berkeley): prevention programs and juvenile aid bureaus, first organized special police services for youths

Iacp: Internation association for chiefs of police



1960s: increased tension between police and citizens

US Supreme Court ruled against police authority in a number of cases restricting discretion

Civil unrest; police seen as oppressors

Increase in crime

Development of role in community awareness and crime prevention

Recognized need for specialized juvenile programs by the 1980s

Prevention: Police Athletic League

Law enforcement: Juvenile Court, school policing

Child abuse, domestic violence, homelessness

Police roles

Juvenile officers

Operate within a police dept.

Former patrol officers who are sometimes provided specialized training in

dealing with juveniles

Majority of the encounters end in informal outcomes, and are for minor offenses

Role of peacekeepers and crime preventers

Role conflict between law enforcement role and rehabilitation role


Controlling violent crime

Problem-oriented policing

Focusing on problems underlying juvenile delinquency

Address problems of community disorganization

Directed patrols in hot spots

Community Policing

Emphasize on reducing fear, organizing the community, and maintaining order

The goal of police to help youth fits with this model


Gives police more immediate information of criminal activity

Engage in proactive crime prevention

Increases police accountability to the public

Improves police public relationships


Police practices, the law, and juveniles

Police and the law: Arrests

Law of arrest the same for adults and juveniles

Probable cause

Misdemeanor: police must observe crime

Felony: probable cause

Police have broader authority to take juveniles into custody, generally

Otherwise must have a warrant

Police can “arrest” youths for status offenses such as truancy, running away and alcohol use

Loco parentis (in place of parents)

Once arrested, formal safeguards of the 4th and 5th amendment attach

4th amendment standards of search and seizure have been determined to apply to juveniles

Police and the law: search and seizure

Same stop and frisk rule as for adults

Search after a legal arrest in the immediate area of the subject’s control

For many young people, stops are a familiar and frequent experience and also perceived to be unjustified and unfair.

44 percent of young people surveyed indicated they had been stopped repeatedly—9 times or more.

Less than a third—29 percent—reported ever being informed of the reason for a stop

Frisks, searches, threats, and use of force are common.

71 percent of young people surveyed reported being frisked at least once, and 64 percent said they had been searched.

45 percent reported encountering an officer who threatened them, and 46 percent said they had experienced physical force at the hands of an officer.

One out of four said they were involved in a stop in which the officer displayed his or her weapon.

Impact of stop and frisk: https:// www.nytimes.com/2012/06/12/opinion/the-scars-of-stop-and-frisk.html


Vera institute report

Trust in law enforcement and willingness to cooperate with police is alarmingly low.

88 percent of young people surveyed believe that residents of their neighborhood do not trust the police.

Only four in 10 respondents said they would be comfortable seeking help from police if in trouble.

Only one in four respondents would report someone whom they believe had committed a crime.

Young people who have been stopped more often in the past are less willing to report crimes, even when they themselves are the victims.

Each additional stop in the span of a year is associated with an eight percent drop in the person’s likelihood of reporting a violent crime he or she might experience in the future.

Half of all young people surveyed had been the victim of a crime, including 37 percent who had been the victim of a violent crime

Custodial interrogation

Miranda v Arizona put limits on police interrogations

In re Gault the Supreme Court held that Miranda applies to juveniles as well

In 2011 the Supreme Court ruled that age is a factor and police need to take care when questioning children in custody

Does a youth have the maturity to waive their Miranda rights?

Feld (2006) found that 80% of juveniles waive Miranda

Police use suggestive questioning with youth; minimized Miranda warnings

Supreme Court examined the ways in which Miranda was delivered and have concluded that even if “language was slightly different” the juvenile should get the gist of it

Juvenile false confessions: https://www.crimefreefuture.com/resources-defending-children-court/due-process /


Police discretion

When should an officer arrest a youth? When should a summons be issued? When should they let them go with a warning?

Use discretion to choose an appropriate course of actions; give flexibility

Can result in discrimination

Leads to different results in similar situations

Majority of encounters with police don’t result in arrest

Study in 200 found that only 13% of encounters with police result in a juvenile arrest


Bias and police discretion

Racial bias

https:// www.npr.org/2017/09/27/551864016/fewer-youths-incarcerated-but-gap-between-blacks-and-whites-worsens

Police turn to formal interventions more often with Black youth

Broken windows policing, and stop and frisk contribute to unfair treatment of African Americans

President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Law enforcement needs to adopt procedural justice as a guiding principle

Police agencies need to develop “clear and comprehensive” polices on use of force

Police agencies need to emphasize community policing


New directions: law enforcement

Field interrogations

Foot patrol and neighborhood storefront police stations

Community mobilization programs (block watch, weed and seed, Neighborhood Watch, neighborhood cleanups, etc)



Afterschool programs


Juvenile Life without Parole

erious crimes deserve serious penalties, but crimes committed by children, though sometimes resulting in serious and tragic harm, deserve special consideration. These crimes tend to be impulsive, short-sighted, and driven by fear and by childish desires to impress peers or pacify adults. New brain science confirms that teenagers have less capacity for self-control, but much greater capacity for selfimprovement, than adults. All of this suggests that children should be sentenced differently than adults and receive additional opportunities to demonstrate change


JLWOP statistics

In 2012, approx. 2500 individuals were serving LWOP sentenced they received as children

An additional 25,000 were serving virtual life sentences

A 50-year sentence for a 16-year old will cost upwards of $2.25 million.

The majority of these individuals are male (97%) and Black (62%)

Significant risk factors

79% witnessed violence in their homes regularly

32% grew up in public housing

Fewer than half were attending school at the time of their offense

47% were physically abused

80% of girls reported histories of physical abuse and 77% of girls reported histories of sexual abuse

How did we get here?

Super-predator scare of the 1980s/1990s

Larry Miller, at 16 shot and killed another teenager in Philadelphia in 1965

Sentence: 20 years

Abdul Lateef, at 16 participated in a robbery, which led to the ultimate death of the victim, in 1985

Sentence: Life without parole

In reaction to the growth of drug- and gang-related activity in the mid-1990s, lawmakers in Connecticut and nationally responded forcefully but, in retrospect, misguidedly. The harsh reforms were rooted in the popularization of the idea of the “superpredator,” a supposed class of teenagers who were highly violent, dangerous, and beyond redemption.19 Meanwhile, public officials worried that gangs were recruiting children to commit crimes because the juvenile justice system would not punish them harshly.20 Public fear of juvenile crime coalesced in claims that some children were so-called “Humpty Dumpty children,” perceived to be broken beyond repair.21


Fates in limbo

Maryland’s juvenile lifers


Children are different

In 2005, the Supreme Court held in Roper v. Simmons that children who commit crimes under the age of 18 cannot be executed

Graham v. Florida that children cannot be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole (“LWOP”) for non-homicide crimes.

In 2012, the Court held in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory LWOP sentences for children are unconstitutional

prevent the decisionmaker from taking into account the age and diminished culpability of juvenile offender

In several recent decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that children are different from adults and must be treated differently in criminal sentencing. Relying on scientific studies about adolescent brain development, the Court has emphasized that adult sentences are not appropriate for children because youth are less culpable for their crimes and more capable of change and rehabilitation.


Brain Science

Court concluded that developments in brain science and psychology show “fundamental differences between juvenile and adult minds

Adolescents do not have the same judgment and impulse control as mature adults.

areas of the brain involving self-control and judgment continue to develop throughout adolescence and are not completely mature until the early to mid-twenties

teens are more impulsive, more emotional, more apt to be influenced by others and by their environment, and less adept at conceiving and taking into consideration longterm consequences of their actions

Diminished culpability

children have diminished culpability and thus are “less deserving of the most severe punishments

The Court observed that children’s “lack of maturity and underdeveloped sense of responsibility lead to recklessness, impulsivity, and heedless risk-taking

teens may play a secondary role in an offense and be influenced by older peers or adults. T

Capacity to change

The Court also found that because of the differences between the brains of children and adults, a “child’s character is not as well formed as an adult’s” and his “traits are less fixed.”

The Court concluded that “[m]aturity can lead to that considered reflection which is the foundation for remorse, renewal, and rehabilitation” and juveniles “should not be deprived of the opportunity to achieve maturity of judgment and self-recognition of human worth and potential

Who are these children?

“[The day after his 17th birthday] my cousin got killed right in front of me when I was 13 or 14 years old. . . . [That] hurt real bad.” [I was so broke down afterwards that my mother called 9-1-1, and the hospital] “did some tests, asked questions, and I stayed a night or two. . . . That stuck with me. Made me feel like guns would protect me, and I needed protection.”

Interview with Khairi

I’ve seen a lot of things—a guy got stomped on. Some things I’ve seen are still scary but I’m able to deal with it better now. You have to be careful, you’ve got to numb yourself to certain things, you can’t walk around with your heart on your sleeve.”

Interview with Morris

Who are these children?

Children serving lengthy sentences often grew up in violent environments

63% of juvenile lifers perceived their neighborhoods to be unsafe

66% saw drugs sold openly in their home communities

54% witnessed acts of violence on at least a weekly basis

raised in severe poverty, and many were victims of neglect or physical and sexual abuse in the home

80% witnessed violence in their homes; 50% experienced physical abuse; and 20% were sexually abused

“My father died of AIDS when I was 12. I grew up with my mom. He was in and out, picked me up twice a year if I was lucky. Tried to bring toys on Christmas . . . tried to. I’m not trying to speak bad about my mom, but she was on heroin.” Interview with Devon

Who are these children?

Serious crimes committed by juveniles are often peer-influenced and impulsive.

Sometimes, juveniles convicted of murder didn’t actually kill anyone.

In a study conducted in Philadelphia, 75% of the convictions were for felony murder

Nick is serving 38 years for felony murder, attempted robbery, and conspiracy to rob, crimes he was convicted of committing when he was 17. At trial, his co-participant testified that Nick wanted to back out, but was coerced by his cousin who had been drinking and ‘‘flipped”—pointing the gun at Nick and stating: ‘‘you’re not punking out on me now.” His cousin confessed to being the shooter

. A felony murder charge requires only that the juvenile be engaged in a felony (most often robbery), that someone died as a result (even by accident), and that the juvenile had reason to know that one of his co-felons was carrying a dangerous weapon.44 All of the juveniles involved in a robbery-gone-wrong, whether as a shooter, as a look-out, or as a back-up ride-along, can be guilty of felony murder and subject to the same murder sentence of 25 to 60 years, without the chance of parole. Since juveniles often commit crimes in peer groups, felony murder is a common charge.45


Lost in the adult system

A second significant category of juvenile crimes involves retaliation for prior violence

Nyron received 30 years for manslaughter (after a plea) at age 14. The cycle of violence began when Nyron was stabbed at a football game at age 13 and hospitalized. His 16-year-old brother Jason later shot the 19-year-old stabber, and Nyron later shot a 20-year-old in connection with the stabbing

Juveniles may mistrust their court-appointed lawyers and turn for advice to fellow prisoners, or to family members who may not have the facts or have not spoken to the attorney

They may be vulnerable to pleading guilty to charges that they do not fully understand and to taking responsibility for conduct that may not be theirs

Lost in the adult system

A juvenile may end up serving a longer sentence than a more culpable adult because he rejects a plea offer and takes the case to trial.

Other times, a juvenile may accept a plea deal without understanding the actual consequences of the plea.

“The lawyer said I’d get 15-20 years. He didn’t tell me it was going to be 40 years. I was under the impression I was doing 20. Someone told me to write for a mittimus if I want to find out how long I’m in for and it said 40 consecutive years and it explained what consecutive meant. I was like, ‘40 years?’ . . . . Six years [had] passed [since sentencing] before I found this out.”

At the time juveniles are making critical decisions about their cases, they are usually in custody, isolated from family and support systems, and placed under considerable stress.

The first years in prison

Incarcerated children are especially vulnerable to mental health conditions.

Adjustment to prison life is difficult for incarcerated children.

children often react by fighting or displaying other aggressive behavior

Children with mental health needs are even more likely to have difficulty controlling this behavior

Growing up in prison

Juveniles who receive long sentences spend many of their formative years behind bars.

Prison programming is extremely limited for “lifers”

Stories of change

Acceptance of remorse

“I did an unforgiveable thing that hurt many people. This is a responsibility I did not fully understand for many years. I am now at a point in my life where I can understand it and own it.”

Engagement in programming and rehabilitation

“A program came up in the hospital for Certified Nurse’s Assistants (CNA), and I was able to enroll in that. I worked with people who were blind, people who couldn’t move physically without someone moving them. I sat with them night and day. People who couldn’t speak. I didn’t even know that existed within the institution. . . . I heard stories that brought me to tears. I prayed with them. I thought, ‘This is the time to be a service.’ This hospital, this program was my blessing. I need to be here. Everyone was able to see the change. It was about helping everyone as a whole. Helping humanity.”

Future outside of prison: Philadelphia

Philadelphia has released over 200 juvenile lifers

Recidivism rate of 1.14%

75% are employed either part-time of full-time

Legislative reforms

The story of Pennsylvania’s juvenile lifers