Police Work with Juveniles
Read the following scenario and answer the following questions. Submit them to the approprite Discussion area. Respond to two of your classmates. Be sure to number your questions. Look as how the questions are asked and numbered and be sure to do your like this!
You are a newly appointed police officer assigned to a juvenile unit of a medium-size urban police department. Wayne G. is an eighteen-year old White male who was caught shoplifting with two male friends of the same age. Wayne attempted to leave a large department tore with a $25 shirt and was apprehended by a police officer in front of the store.
Wayne seemed quite remorseful about the offense. He said several times that he didn’t know why he did it and that he had not planned to do it. He seemed upset and scared, and while admitting the offense, did not want to go to court. Wayne had three previous contacts with the police as a juvenile: one for malicious mischief when he destroyed some property, another involving a minor assault on a boy, and a third involving another shoplifting charge. In all three cases, Wayne promised to refrain from ever committing such acts again, and as a result was not required to go to court. The other shoplifting incident involved a baseball worth only $3.00
Wayne appeared at the police department with his mother. His parents are divorced. The mother did not seem overly concerned about the case and felt that her son was not really to blame. She argued that he was always getting in trouble and she was not sure how to control him. She blamed mist of his troubles with the law on his being in the wrong crowd. Besides, a $25.00 shirt was “no big deal” and she offered to pay back the store. The store had left matters in the hands of the police and would support any decision you make.
Deciding what to do in a case like Wayne’s is a routine activity for most police officers. When dealing with juveniles, they must consider not only the nature of the offense gut also the needs of the juvenile. Police officers realize that actions they take can have a long-term effect on an adolescent’s future.
1. Would you submit Wayne’s case for prosecution, release him with a warning, or use some other tactic?
2. Should police officers be forced to act as counselors for troubled youth?