The Role of the Police in Juvenile Delinquency & Prevention

The Role of the Police in Juvenile Delinquency & Prevention
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  • 0:04 Police & Juvenile Delinquency
  • 0:59 Police & Juvenile Prevention
  • 1:33 Programs for Juveniles
  • 3:21 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Vericia Miller
In this lesson, you will learn more about the role of the police officer as it relates to juvenile delinquency and prevention. You will also be given a few examples of juvenile delinquency prevention programs that involve law enforcement.

Police & Juvenile Delinquency

Police officers serve a vital role in the safety and well-being of the community and society at large. They are oftentimes called the gatekeepers to the criminal justice system because they are typically the first ones on the scene when there's an issue, problem, or when a crime has been committed. They wear many hats when it comes to juvenile delinquency. Police officers have lots of discretion when it comes to how they handle a case or person.

Because federal and state laws protect juveniles from the harshest types of sanctions, police officers tend to approach juvenile crime a little differently. There is oftentimes a little more leniency from officer to juvenile, but of course this would depend on the crime committed. Officers have options when it comes to how they choose to address juvenile delinquency. Depending on the type of crime committed, they can arrest a suspect, but they can also let him or her go, or refer the offender to a social service agency for help.

Police & Juvenile Prevention

Police officers do have a responsibility to serve and protect, but they also play a significant role in the prevention of crime. Many law enforcement agencies are taking a more modern approach to solving crime. In this more modern approach, things like community policing and linkages with community organizations serve a very important purpose to reduce crime through more rehabilitative methods. There are several law enforcement programs that exist throughout the country where a strong prevention/rehabilitative agenda is enforced. Let's take a look at two of those programs.

Programs for Juveniles

The Law Enforcement Cadet Program with the Los Angeles Police Department is a great example of a delinquency prevention program. The purpose of the program is to introduce youth to the field of law enforcement by allowing them real hands-on experience. During the program, they work with and are supervised by police officers. They go through the police academy and partake in some of the same everyday activities as an actual officer. The program claims to teach responsibility, discipline, and character building skills. We've covered a prevention program on the west coast, so let's take a look at a different program on the east coast.

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