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Juvenile Enforcement and Custody Model Policy

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 1992
3 pages
The International Association of Chiefs of Police National Law Enforcement Policy Center presents a model policy with guidelines for officers when dealing with juveniles in enforcement and custody situations.
In setting the basic parameters for the model policy, the guidelines indicate that in interacting with juveniles, officers should be aware that only a small percentage of juveniles commit the majority of juvenile crimes. Although this small percentage may require secure custody, the vast majority of juvenile offenders are likely candidates for nonsecure custody, positive diversion, or intervention strategies. Thus, the policy recommends that whenever reasonable and justified, officers should take measures necessary to contribute to positive changes in juvenile offenders, consistent with State law and the safety and security of the community. The policy statement first presents definitions of "status offender," "responsible adult," "nonsecure custody," and "secure custody." The model policy then outlines procedures to be followed by officers in dealing with juveniles in the course of enforcing laws. The policy first lists nine enforcement alternatives, followed by general guidelines to be used in determining appropriate enforcement actions and related steps that may be taken when dealing with various law violations by juveniles. Separate sections of the model policy specify procedures for dealing with juveniles suspected of committing status offenses and juveniles suspected of having committed "criminal-type" offenses. The model policy's concluding section provides guidelines for record-keeping by officers in the course of dealing with juveniles in a law enforcement capacity.