Juvenile Justice Essay

675 words - 3 pages

The Constitution of the United States applies to all citizens regardless of age. These basic rights and freedoms are applicable to all with some interpretative rulings that some states may apply. The right to due process and unreasonable search and seizure are two very important rights granted to juveniles. A law enforcement officer also has some latitude on how they deal with juveniles. This can be done informally or in a more formal judicial proceeding.
I am a law enforcement officer with many years of experience. The agency I work for encourages discretion and informal resolutions when dealing with juveniles if possible. It may just require a “knock it off” comment by the officer when observing mischievous behavior by juveniles to correct the situation. The comment, “Officers who see youths fighting or stealing something might talk to them…” (Bartollas & Miller, 2011, p. 99) would not apply in my jurisdiction. Those are clear violations of the law and will be dealt with in a more formal setting. If the theft victim or the parents of the fighting subjects wish to pursue charges the juveniles will be formally processed. This would entail arrest, fingerprinting, mug shots; Department of Juvenile Justice intake and possible release back to parents. If the offense is serious enough or the juvenile is a repeat offender they may be detained in secure detention for pending court appearances.
The basic Fourth Amendment right affording protection from unreasonable search and seizure did not always apply to juveniles. It was not until the Supreme Court ruling of State v. Lowery in 1967 that juveniles were afforded this protection under the Constitution. Just as an adult, a juvenile must give consent to search their person or property, be presented with a search warrant, or be under arrest for a search by law enforcement to be valid. An exception to this rule pertains to a juvenile’s home. The parents of a juvenile may give law enforcement permission to search a juvenile’s room without a warrant (Bartollas &...

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