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Role of the Judge, Police Officer and Probation Officers in Juvenile Justice

2194 words (9 pages) Essay in Criminology

18/05/20 Criminology Reference this

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Introduction

        All through this paper, I will examine the jobs of the judge, juvenile police officer, and the probation officers. I will likewise clarify how every one of them works together to ensure that the juvenile gets the best possible outcome throughout the process while in the juvenile justice system. I will also compare how each role is similar and how they are different in the juvenile process. The last thing that I will be discussing is the outcome of the case of ten-year-old Charlie. Results will be based on information that was gathered and researched from the starting of the process to the end.

       The juvenile police are the first ones to encounter the juvenile when the juveniles get into any trouble or commit any crime. The second one that confronts the minors are the judges for that county where they committed their crimes. And the last one would be probation when the juvenile is placed on probation in court for the crimes that they allocate. “The juvenile courts and the probation officers play a huge role in the juvenile justice system throughout the United States (n.d.). “The juvenile courts and the probation officers reflect on the importance of ensuring accountability is a central factor in the courts. And the probation case processing, decision-making, program planning, and service delivery, which has shown to be the most extensive and critical roles played by the juvenile courts” (n.d.).

         The first encounter that the juvenile will face is with the police officer when committing a criminal act or standing offense. When the police officer comes across a minor, that is committing a crime, the police officer can decide if the juvenile offender will have a referral to juvenile court or if the young offender will receive a warning. And this will all depend on the circumstances associated with the juvenile offender’s criminal acts. “Officers will sometimes refer the juveniles to a big brother or big sisters’ program, or a youth service bureau. They can also refer them to a mental health facility and even a social service agency for runaways or for juveniles that need a helping hand. When the police officers refer the juvenile to juvenile courts, this is when the probation officers will take over the case” (Bolden-Barrett, V. 2017).

       Police officers also handle non-delinquent behavior cases that can involve claims of child abuse and neglect of a child. “There will be a time when a police officer investigates by interviewing witnesses, the victim, and the parents of the juvenile. And the police departments in every state have units that dedicated themselves solely to the juveniles” (Bolden-Barrett, V. 2017).  

       Police officers have a responsibility to protect the community and juveniles from abuse or criminal acts. “Sometimes, to protect the juveniles from abuse or neglect, the police officer might have to remove the juvenile from an abusive home. Or transport them to a shelter or nearby hospital if they have been abandoned or abused. Police officers are usually the ones that are first on the scene when a child is left alone in their homes, or locked inside of a vehicle during extreme hot or cold weather conditions. Or from calls reported that a child is not in their car seats as required by law for infants and toddlers. In my district of Desoto county and maybe other districts the sheriff office has officers that are on duty at the schools to protect the children from harm or harming each other. It can deter certain disturbances that can put children at risk of becoming either victims or violators” (Bolden-Barrett, V. 2017).  

       Juvenile judges are a part of the juvenile courts and have a “wide degree of discretion when fulfilling their roles” (Cox, Allen, Hanser, Jennifer, & Conrad, 2014). The juvenile judge “is vested with the authority of the state, tangibly, and personally representing parens patriae” (Cox, Allen, Hanser, Jennifer, & Conrad, 2014).  The juvenile judge is responsible for hearing the “court cases and serving the best interest of the offenders, victims, and communities that involves minors under the age of eighteen years of age” (Nicolet, G. 2019). The “juvenile judges hear criminal cases that involve juveniles; they also hear the cases of dependency cases that involve abuse or neglect of the juveniles” (Nicolet, G. 2019).

       When the juvenile judges hear the criminal cases, such as cases of minors that under the age of eighteen years of age. And who have been charged with crimes such as shoplifting, burglary, and drug possession and in which Charlie will fall under the catorgry of shoplifting. The juvenile judges may also hear a witness testimony and review reports that have been submitted by the juvenile probation officers” (Nicolet, G. 2019). The juvenile court judges will also take into “consideration of the seriousness of the crime and the criminal history of the juvenile while making decisions on their cases. On the other hand, juvenile judges will also take into consideration certain factors such as the age of the juvenile, home life, and school behavior when deciding the juvenile cases (Nicolet, G. 2019). Juvenile judges are responsible for deciding the punishment of the juvenile because they have no jury and “will base their ruling on the evidence presented during the case by attorneys and witnesses and sometimes take into consideration the recommendations of the juvenile probation officer or prosecutor. The juvenile judge can order the minor to complete community service, counseling, or drug treatment depending on their cases and serve time in a juvenile detention center or residential treatment center” (Nicolet, G. 2019).

      Juvenile judges have a majority of the “major power and responsibilities. And can move a case from juvenile courts to adult courts if the juveniles are involved in crimes that consist of selling drugs, use of a firearm or gang-related activities. The judge can also dismiss court cases and can process juvenile warrants, detain juveniles or release the juveniles from custody” (Nicolet, G. 2019). The juvenile judge plays a massive part in the juvenile’s life or future. On the other hand, so does the police officer, prosecutor, and the juvenile probation officer when they encounter the minors.

     The “juvenile probation officers are certified individuals that only works with children that are under the age of eighteen years of age, depending on the judge and the circumstances of the case. The judges will decide if the juvenile will stay in juvenile court at the age of eighteen or be moved over to adult court” (Juvenile Probation Officer – Prison: Laws.com. n.d.). The “juvenile probation officer supervises the juveniles that have been placed on probation and released into the community and the parents who have been deemed to have committed neglect or abuse against a child” (Cox, Allen, Hanser, Jennifer, & Conrad, 2014). Throughout the “offender’s probation, the probation officers will not only work with the juveniles. The probation officers will work very closely with the offender’s families and schools while the juvenile is on probation for the best outcome of the juvenile” (Juvenile Probation Officer – Prison: Laws.com. n.d.).

        “A juvenile probation officer should be a role model to encourage juveniles to avoid any criminal activity behavior and teach them responsibility within their communities. It is additionally exceptionally recommended that the adolescent be able to trust their probation officer. So, they can confide in them when making important decisions to succeed in their probation and their lives” (Juvenile Probation Officer – Prison: Laws.com. n.d.). “A probation officer must also make sure that the juvenile offender completes any obligations or responsibilities that he or she has to the court. The obligations may include written apology notes to the victims, fines, court appearances, and most likely community service” (Juvenile Probation Officer – Prison: Laws.com. n.d.).

        In the juvenile justice system, the juvenile judge, police officers, and juvenile probation officers have job functions that have similarities and differences when dealing with the juvenile. Each of the roles that are listed above contributes to what happens to the juvenile and their future. Each of the characters cares about what happens, and the well-being of the juvenile offender. And will contribute to what treatment or placement the offender will receive or the consequences the juvenile will face. The judge, juvenile police officer, and probation officers will work as a team. To make sure that the juvenile offender has the best possible outcome and determining inevitable consequences for the juveniles. These roles will provide and protect the minors from abuse or neglect that their parents or guardians are committing against them. The differences that these roles have when it comes to juvenile offenders are how they encounter the offender. The police officer makes the arrest or gives a warning, the judge decides what punishment to give to the offender, and the juvenile probation officer supervises the offender. The juvenile probation officer and the police officers are more involved with the schools while the judge is over the court proceedings is a similarity and differences between the roles. These roles also have a different amount of authority and power over the case. The judge makes the final decision of the juvenile case while taking into consideration the recommendations of the police officers and the juvenile probation officers (Cox, Allen, Hanser, Jennifer, & Conrad, 2014).

       After reading and reviewing each role and the responsibility of each one has. I am looking at the case of Charlie, a ten-year-old boy that has been charged with several counts of shoplifting at a convenient local store. I would need to ensure that my commendations will help the ten-year-old instead of hurting the child. The first question that I would want an answer to “is why Charlie is stealing items from a store”? It may be because he is hungry, and his family cannot afford food, or maybe Charlie has been abandoned by his parents. To help Charlie, I would have to understand everything that is going on in his life for the best outcome.

        Charlie has stolen over a hundred dollars of items from the store and was caught by a juvenile police officer. This offense would be Charlie’s first offense and first time being in the juvenile courts. The police officer may recommend that Charlie be released to his parents but show up for a future court date. And complete community services that will allow Charlie to pay back for the items he had stolen from the convenient store. On the other hand, the convenience store business owner can still press charges since Charlie took things from his or her store without paying for them. If the owner of the store decides to press charges against Charlie for the theft, then the officer can detain him at a juvenile detention center, and the case will be then given to the prosecutor. And taken before a judge for his crime that he committed. The prosecutor may then recommend Charlie to participate in community service and probation. The juvenile judge may consider that this is the first offense that Charlie has incurred and will find the recommendations from the prosecutor is reasonable. At this time, the case would be assigned to a juvenile probation officer, and he or she will make sure that Charlie completes his designated community service hours. And any other obligations or conditions of the probation that the judge rules on. If Charlie meets all requirements of his probation and follows through with the assigned community hours, Charlie will then be released of any further involvement with the juvenile court systems.

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