Juveniles and the Police in Ireland and New York

Christine Scott-Hayward, New York University

This paper compares the administration of juvenile justice in two very different jurisdictions--New York and Ireland--by examining a particularly understudied topic--the relationship between juveniles and the police. Recent discussions of the Central Park Jogger case have focused attention on the treatment of children in custody. In New York, like most other jurisdictions in the United Sates, juveniles are not treated substantially differently to adults when questioned by police officers. This has been criticized by many commentators as ignoring significant differences in cognitive development and understanding between juveniles and adults. I argue that safeguards recently instituted in Ireland, including the requirement that no child be questioned outside the presence of a parent or other adult, could be adopted in New York. This would address some of the concerns about the prevalence of coerced confessions.

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Updated 05/20/2006