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Assignment 1: Importance of Discretion in Police-Juvenile Interactions


The police play a key role in the juvenile justice system because they are, typically, the point of first contact. Their decisions often affect the youth throughout the entire juvenile justice process. For example, depending on the nature of the offense, the arresting officers might use their discretion in deciding whether to release the suspected delinquents to their parents or to book them in the local jail or detention facility. Juveniles who are booked are more likely to be dealt with formally should they once again come in contact with law enforcement.


Likewise, an officer might decide to handle a juvenile suspected of a delinquent offense (which would be considered a crime if committed by an adult) differently from a juvenile suspected of a status offense (which is an offense only because of the age of the suspect) because of basic differences between the two types of offenses.


Submission Details:


By Saturday, June 28, 2014, in a minimum of 250 words, post to the Discussion Area your responses to the following:


  • What are the options available to the police when interacting with juveniles suspected of delinquent activity?
  • Do these options differ if the juvenile in question is suspected of a status offense? Why or why not?
  • What factors go into a police officer’s decision to arrest a suspect? Do you think the amount of discretion available to the police is reasonable? Explain your answer.


By Wednesday, July 2, 2014, read all your classmates’ postings and respond to at least two of them. Comment on how well your classmates described the various discretionary options available to the police.


Discussion Grading Criteria and Rubric


All discussion assignments in this course will be graded using a rubric. This assignment is worth 40 points. Download the discussion rubric and carefully read it to understand the expectations.


Assignment 2: LASA 1: Centervale’s Delinquency Prevention Program




Here’s What Happened . . .




Recently juvenile delinquency has become a hot topic in the city of Centervale. Compared to last year, official data indicates an increase in status offenses, especially truancy and curfew. Additionally, the Centervale police department reports a consistent three-year increase in minor arrests for larceny, vandalism, assault, and unlawful entry. It appears that incidents involving female juveniles are rapidly increasing while there is a steady increase in male juvenile related incidents.




Anecdotally, the general sentiment of Centervale citizens is that children are out of control. The local newspaper regularly receives letters to the editor complaining about juveniles loitering, spraying graffiti, and causing general mischief. Although the city has run a juvenile court, a diversion program, community corrections, and probation for some time, it has never undertaken a program that specifically targets juvenile delinquency prevention.




Feeling pressure from local civic organizations and sensing the frustration of the population in general, the mayor has asked you to devise a realistic and economic program to address Centervale’s juvenile delinquency problem.




Here’s What You Need to Do . . .




Create a Community Initiative Program that will attempt to reduce and prevent juvenile delinquency in Centervale. Using APA in-text citations to cite external sources that link to corresponding references on a separate page, compose your 5–7 page proposal based on the following questions:


•The Mayor has indicated that reducing and preventing truancy, larceny or theft, and underage drinking are the city’s top priorities.


•Choose one of these target issues as your program’s focus.


•Select a target population—individual, family, community, or society—and discuss your analysis for determining why this issue is a problem, then create an outline with a minimum of three specific goals for your program.


•Building upon a foundation of current trends in juvenile justice and research on juvenile delinquency, discuss how the goals of your program are consistent with current trends and your research findings. Compare similar successful programs and suggest ways to improve on an area of limitation.


•Summarize a theory of juvenile delinquency and discuss how it specifically addresses your selected target issue. Critically evaluate the theory and provide examples of how the theory demonstrates the concepts proposed in your program.


•Describe the implementation of the program and any anticipated limitations.


•Briefly describe how the program will be evaluated. Use external sources as your guide, explain how the program’s success will be measured, and describe new actions that will demonstrate program success to the mayor and citizens of Centervale.




Submission Details:


•Save the paper as M3_A2_Lastname_Firstname.doc.


•By Wednesday, July 2, 2014, submit your paper to the M3: Assignment 2 Dropbox.




LASA 1 Grading Criteria and Rubric




All LASAs in this course will be graded using a rubric. This assignment is worth 200 points. Download the rubric and carefully read it to understand the expectations.






Assignment 2 Grading Criteria 






Maximum Points




Selected truancy, larceny or theft, or underage drinking as the program’s focus; selected a target population—individual, family, community, or society—and analyzed why this issue is a problem; and created three goals for the program.






Built a foundation of current trends in juvenile justice and juvenile delinquency research to discuss how the goals of the program are consistent, compared similar successful programs, and suggested ways to improve on an area of limitation.






Summarized a theory of juvenile delinquency, discussed how it specifically addresses the selected target issue, and critically evaluated the theory and demonstrated how its concepts apply to the program.






Described the implementation of the program and any anticipated limitations the program might have.






Described how the program might be evaluated and discussed how the program will measure and demonstrate successes.






Writing Standards •Organization (12)


•Usage and Mechanics (12)


•APA Elements (16)


•Style (4)












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