Fair or Foul: Police Authority Limited with Juveniles
Juveniles are the young criminal offenders who have been arrested and convicted because of their delinquency in the society. It is until one turns the age of an adult that is when they are taken to adult prisons otherwise they are kept in juvenile prisons so as to protect them from being harmed by adult prisoners (Shoemaker 2017).
The Human Rights protects the younger offender while in prison to ensure that they are not subjected to any harassment or mistreatment by the police officers. This means that the Police authority is limited with laws pertaining protection of juveniles who are just criminals but because of their age, they are seen as minors. It is good to protect them which are fair treatment but some police officers have crossed the line thus they violate these laws by mistreating the minors in prisons. Some may argue that it is fair treatment according to the fact that juveniles are offenders but it is offensive according to the Human Rights that contains children rights protecting young offenders (Council, South Carolina Legislative Audit 2017).
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There are various ways that police authority abuse young offenders when they arrest them and when they are taken to prison. For instance, they are harshly punished with by being beaten while in prisons as a way of correcting them. According to the police, it is a corrective measure but this is unfair treatment of young children who require the moral adjustment in order to fit in the society. It is with no doubt that juveniles be given special treatment even if they committed crimes. This is because punishing them harshly will not help them but it will worsen their cognitive process by making them feel that the world is unfair to them (Garabedian, and Don 2017).
The resultant outcome for such treatment is to make them worse than they were arrested this is because harsh punishment will alter their cognition and make them feel since the world is treating them negatively they have also to negatively respond. Therefore, it will make them continue with the criminal activity after the entire environment around them is negative so they have to be negative too (Garabedian, and Don 2017). Precisely, unfair treatment of juveniles by police authority worsens their maladaptive behaviors and increases the chances of them relapsing when released back into the society.
Despite the fact, the interaction between a police officer and a juvenile is characterized with stress, fear, annoyance, disagreement and mistrusts should not be the basis of justifying unfair treatment to them (Shoemaker 2017). Therefore, police authority should not bully them and show aggression towards them as it is the public perception that police sometimes victimizes people. Instead, they should model the correct behavior in juveniles by using actions that are highlighted by the law thus they should be limited with the law. This will thus change the negative general perception towards the police authority as being brutal.
However, police authority should be sometimes justified of their treatment towards juvenile. The first thing to consider is that juveniles are potential criminals that if left out and treated fairly can reinforce their delinquency behaviors. This is because the only difference between the juveniles and hardened offenders is age but the criminal act is the same (Council, South Carolina Legislative Audit 2017). Therefore, police treatment can be justified because for them they are correcting the behavior and not considering the age. This is because if special treatment is given there is the likelihood of relapsing so that to be given fair treatment again in juvenile prisons.
Additionally, the juveniles sometimes maybe uncooperative either to be arrested or while in prison; this forces the law enforcers to use forceful means for example to arrest a young offender. When such occurrence happens it poses dilemmas of whether to justify the behavior of the police or to condemn such behaviors while protecting the offender based on the age. For instance, in juvenile prisons, the juveniles may be discourteous and disrespectful towards a police officer because they know the law protects them (Shoemaker 2017). Such situations can provoke a police officer to harshly punish the juvenile with an effort to eliminate the negative behavior which then because difficult to justify within the law. Furthermore, some juvenile may become aggressive by verbally abusing others physically or even attack police officers (Garabedian, and Don 2017). This becomes a challenge on how to handle such characters that are in prisons to be corrected but because of young age, they pose dilemmas to police authority practices.
Conclusively, dealing with juvenile offenders for police authorities is very challenging. This is because some of their practices can be termed as unlawful practices because of considering the age of the offender but they can be justified as fair treatment when considering the crime that the person has done. For example, some juveniles are arrested with the same crimes that are committed by adults who are given different treatment from them. This means that police authority as law enforcers should ensure that they enforce the children laws despite the offenses until one is an adult.