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Notes From the Research on Interactions Between Law Enforcement and Youth Discussion

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2017
9 pages
This report presents the objectives and outcomes of a group discussion convened by the U.S, Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to consider research strategies that could inform OJJDP's efforts to support law enforcement officer, youth, and community safety.
The group included researchers, practitioners, and federal staff, who focused on the state of research on interactions between law enforcement officers and youth. In its framing of the issue to be discussed OJJDP emphasized the importance of law enforcement's role as first contact with youth who become involved in the juvenile justice system. The discussion included a summary of the current research and literature, highlighting the scope of law enforcement and youth interactions. This report features relevant research considerations, research methods, and research questions identified by the group. The group emphasized researcher and practitioner cooperation in research pertinent to police-youth interactions. Another recommendation is to use a participant research model in which youth are trained to serve as partners in conducting research about youth experiences and interactions with law enforcement. The group also discussed the identification and measurement of various types of police interactions with youth, including both positive and negative interactions. Other topics addressed were police diversion programs, how officers view them, and their evaluation. Other research domains discussed were youths' socialization regarding law and law enforcement; how changing law enforcement philosophies and roles impact police interaction with youth; law enforcement, youth, and community partnerships; and the incorporation of research findings into training and practice.

Date Published: December 1, 2017