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5 Ways Law Enforcement Agencies Can Use Data on Juveniles

NCJ Number
252070
Date Published
Author(s)
National Center for Juvenile Justice
Annotation
This fact sheet explains five important ways that law enforcement agencies can use data on juveniles.
Abstract
First, law enforcement data on juveniles can assist agencies in understanding crime in their communities. Understanding juvenile crime patterns in a community can guide the development of an agency’s strategic plan and tactics, as well as help community partners develop and support targeted prevention strategies. Second, data on juveniles can improve information-sharing with other law enforcement and juvenile justice agencies. This is critical in addressing the risk level and criminogenic needs of justice-involved youth. Third, data on juveniles can assist law enforcement agencies in managing the deployment of scarce resources. Some communities have developed structured decisionmaking tools that guide officer discretion when addressing a juvenile’s problem behavior. An officer enters data, such as offense and prior arrests, and the tool provides guidance on the most appropriate response. Fourth, a law enforcement agency’s data on juveniles can assist in identifying risk factors for youth victimization. Police are often the first responders to family conflicts or intra-familial violence where juveniles are present. The identification of such juveniles can assist juvenile delinquency prevention programs in identifying youth at high risk of victimization and related problem behaviors. Fifth, law enforcement agencies’ collection of data on juvenile crime contributes to the nation’s understanding of juvenile crime and helps policymakers assess the needs of their community and guide government policy and investments. 5 references
Date Created: September 30, 2019