Essay #1 As a public defender in the juvenile court, you have been asked to speak to a youth advocacy group about police and juveniles. In exactly three paragraphs, summarize “what the police don’t want you to know. ” Under no circumstances should a child ever be interrogated by the police without a lawyer present. Juveniles have the right to remain silent and to have a lawyer, but often are not made aware of this. Instead, a majority of children waive their rights to a lawyer and are interrogated by the police alone.
The statement that juveniles give to police are usually the primary evidence used against them in court. People think that police are there to serve and help citizens; however, this is not the case. Police are trained law enforcement officers who are not there to help the child, but help provide evidence that the crime was indeed committed. However, these, amongst other things, are things that the police don’t want you to know. The toughest thing to understand is that the police are not on your side. They are on the side of justice and they will do anything necessary to ensure that the crime is solved.
They are trained to interrogate people, including juveniles, in such a way to get them to elicit statements that they think will be helpful in committing them to the crime. If the police arrest you or bring you in for questioning, they are not there to help you, they are there because they think you had a part in the crime. In fact, police also do not want you to know that they are legally allowed to lie to the children being questioned. They could have absolutely no evidence that a child is connected to a crime, but they can lie to them during questioning and say anything necessary to get them to provide a guilty statement.
Children’s brains aren’t fully developed and they likely aren’t aware of what is going on or the severity of it. Lastly, police don’t want you to know that if a child has already given a statement, that their lawyer may file a motion to have it suppressed. That is, if the case goes to court, the prosecutors may not use the statement as evidence against the minor. Often times, children will admit to crimes that they didn’t commit due to factors such as them trusting the policing and looking up to them, them being coerced, or long hours of questioning.
Police convince children and their parents that ‘telling the truth’ will help them, no matter how insignificant. In actuality, making a statement at all is likely to negatively affect the child’s chances in juvenile court. Children have all the same rights that adults do, they should be read their miranda rights if being brought in for questioning, in which it is clearly stated that they have the right to remain silent. However, what police don’t tell you is that if children are not being arrested, but are simply being brought in for questioning, then their rights do not have to be read to hem and they are at higher risk of not knowing what to do and ending up being put through the juvenile justice system. Shortanswer #3 As an SRO, you have been asked by a school administrator (assistant superintendent) to summarize special education issues to a group of special education teachers. As your school resource officer, part of my job is to educate students and staff about all things law-related, and to counsel students in times of trouble. I am not just a law enforcement officer as many students might think.
A school administrator asked me to talk to you today about special education issues, since you are the ones who spend the most time with them whilst at school. Unfortunately, a large majority of special needs kids end up in the juvenile justice system because of their disabilities. Children with disabilities often times have a harder time learning, speaking, and listening, which can cause them to often lash out in anger and frustration. This can lead them to end up in the juvenile justice system when it could have been avoided.
Special education children have the right to a free education that is appropriate for them under the IDEA 2004 act, so lets make sure that happens. Children of special education are misunderstood and don’t have the same tools normal children their age do. It is extremely important that as their teachers, you all understand this and understand why so many of them end up in the justice system unnecessarily. With your help, you may be able to prevent them from escalating to the point where the juvenile justice system becomes involved.
The criminal justice system almost always has a negative effect on children, especially those who are special education. So, it is important that any parent with a child eligible for special needs services apply for additional federal services on their child’s behalf. Make parents aware of this option. Send a letter home, make sure it reaches them. Those federal services, along with compassion and working with the child’s parents, can help them when it comes to special need children and the juvenile justice system.
Short Answer #5 Your child has been placed in a local juvenile institution. Why should you be concerned about institutional abuse? Just recently, my 14 year old son has been put in a juvenile institution. I decided to do some research, and read in a book called When Kids Get Arrested that I should be concerned about my son facing abuse whilst there, and what to do to prevent it. Statistically, reporting institutional abuse in juvenile institutions has been difficult. However, it continues to occur nation wide every year.
In fact, many parents who have children in a local institution aren’t aware of possible abuse to their child. This is because young children and teenagers don’t usually report any type of abuse. If they are being abused, they usually don’t say anything because they don’t feel as though anyone will believe them. They also fear that saying anything will make the situation worse or prolong their stay in the institution. For this reason, along with multiple others, I am concerned about my child that has just been placed into a local juvenile institution.
Many facilities for juveniles lack the profits to run smoothly. They don’t have the money to hire properly trained staff with the right tools to help juveniles, nor do they have the right tools when it comes to reporting and investigating possible abuse cases. Even when possible abuse cases are reported correctly, probation officers, judges, and the juvenile’s attorney who handle it often aren’t made aware of them. My son, like most children in these institutions, is represented by a public defense attorney due to my inability to afford my own lawyer.
Public defenders have large caseloads with children in institutions being on the bottom of their to-do list. On top of this, when children are placed into a juvenile institution, they often lack access to contacting their family. This can prevent my son from letting me know how he is doing and what is going on. Due to the lack of communication going on, information about facilities can be hard for me to get, and can lead to the unknown abuse of my fourteen year old son.
Short Answer #6 As a community college professor, you have been asked by the local LGBT youth dvocacy group to speak at their monthly luncheon about the special needs of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system. The LGBT community is not something that is widely accepted all over the nation. Some places are more accepting than others, however, in the juvenile justice system, juveniles of the LGBT face discrimination and abuse from other youth also in the system. Being a part of the LGBT community is another added pressure on top of the already traumatizing event of being in the system as minor.
They are isolated inside the system where they are constantly abused and unaccepted by their peers, and even by staff such as probation officers and wardens. I was asked here today to speak in front of the LGBT youth advocacy group about the special needs of LGBT in the juvenile justice system. In the system, what LGBT minors really need is compassion and understanding. They need a place to fit in and to feel safe. Whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, if you identify as one of these, you are undoubtedly subject to constant verbal abuse in the system and even physical abuse in extreme situations.
What they need is On top of that, transgender youth are forced to stay with, and to use facilities of, the gender that they don’t associate with. Life in the juvenile justice system is ten times worse when a part of the LGBT community and all they need is some empathy and tolerance. Short Answer #7 As a think tank policy expert in the juvenile justice system, you have been asked by the local juvenile justice commission to explain the needs of girls in the juvenile justice system. The local juvenile justice commission has asked me to explain the needs of girls in the juvenile justice system.
Young girls in the system have a completely different set of needs than juvenile males in the system. They are the fastest growing population in the juvenile justice system; a system that was originally intended to serve males and not as well suited for females. In order to understand the needs of girls in the juvenile system, you have to understand that as adolescents, they are rapidly developing and their hormones are very high. They suffer from low self-esteem, trauma, and the pressure of relationships that cause them to be very emotional individuals during this stage in their life.
Due to their differences from their respective adolescent boys, girls have a completely different set of needs that need to be addressed. Girls in the juvenile justice system need understanding. They need recognition that they are not like their boy counterparts. What works for the boys may not work as effectively for the girls. Teenage girls put into the system suffer anger issues from the trauma and often times officials don’t understand where the anger is coming from and disvalue it, making the girl feel unimportant and ignored. Girls in the system need to be shown the tools of how to cope with her feelings.
There are so many things going on in her body and in her life that without these tools they can feel vulnerable and angry and lost. Treating them like a male in the juvenile system is essentially telling her to be tough. It is teaching her to hide her emotions and that emotions make her a ‘sissy’. Getting into verbal and physical fights doesn’t get the same point across a female as it does a male. It isn’t something that makes them feel better or that they get over in a day. It stays with them just like everything else that happens in the system.