needs 60 word response with reference


In the area of criminal justice and law enforcement, it is important to practice discretion when dealing with any subject, regardless of age. Siegel & Welsh (2016) define discretion as, "use of personal decision making and choice in carrying out operations in the criminal justice system, such as deciding whether to make an arrest or accept a plea bargain" *p. 337). Considering this, there are many factors which much come into play when making these decisions. When working with juveniles, the use of discretion is imperative, as every decision with a juvenile can have a major impact on their future.

There are multiple factors which influence police in their utilization of discretion - of these, we have environmental factors and situational factors. When considering environmental factors, a main area of focus is what the community itself has to offer. Sometimes, it may be in the best interest to release the juvenile if the community have good resources that can assist in handling whatever the issue may be (Siegel & Welsh, 2016, p. 338). However, there are times that no matter what resources are available, there are situations that trump what the community has to offer. In terms of specific situations, attitude has a great deal of influence. Siegel & Welsh (2016) add, "A person who struggles or touches police during a confrontation is a likely candidate for arrest" (p. 339).

One of the best skills for working with juveniles is just to practice empathy. Baker (2022) explains, "One of the core components of positive professional-young person relationships is empathy, which does not mean just sympathising or condoning what a young person has done, but rather about showing a willingness to understand his/her experiences and feelings" (pp. 33-34). Juveniles are already dismissed in many areas - from my experience, you will make an impact in the life of a youth when you give them the chance to speak, allowing them to express themselves. With that, transparency is key. In addition to empathy, we must understand that whatever biases that may be present, that bias has no place here.

Not just with juveniles, but crime as a whole, there needs to be an emphasis on understanding the elements that helped cause the offender to commit the crime. Problem-oriented policing, otherwise known as problem-solving policing, is a great way of doing this. Problem-oriented policing details the importance that if there is an understanding of the underlying factors of an incident, police will have a better chance of preventing further crimes from happening" (Siegel & Welsh, 2016, p. 345). With juveniles, there are many areas that can affect this, and having an understanding of whatever potential factors will not only prevent them from committing an offense, but it also serves as a great potential for building a relationship with a youth, as well as providing them with services.

What are your thoughts?


Baker, K. (2022). Working effectively with young offenders.

Siegel, L. J. & Welsh,B. C. (2016). Juvenile delinqency: the core. (Sixth Ed.). Cengage Learning: Boston, MA

Purchase An Answer Below

Have a similar question?