Policing Juveniles: Exploring Police Provision of Support in Their Encounters With Juvenile Suspects

Stephanie M. Myers, University of Central Florida

Police are both authoritative agents of social control and service providers with juvenile suspects. Most research on police encounters with juveniles focuses on police as social control agents -- usually focusing on what factors pattern police arrest decisions. While this line of inquiry is important, one might expect that in solving problems with juveniles, police also rely on their ability to provide support and service. Using data collected through systematic social observation and police officer interviews, this paper seeks to better understand police provision of support to juvenile suspects by exploring how police officer characteristics and attitudes as well as the characteristics of the situation help to pattern police use of support.

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Updated 05/20/2006