Refers to the ability of a police officer to make a decision at a crime scene. One of the key factor is the nature of the crime. The nature of the offense has to be taken in consideration. It is important to understand the extent of the crime. At that point the officer makes a decision whether or not to make an arrest, write a ticket, give a warning or apply for arrest warrants later. Sometimes all it takes a citizen complaint.
A citizen complaint is another discretion for policemen. A study by Black & Reiss shows that a juvenile have a greater chance of being arrested after a valid citizen complaint and they are willing to stand their ground without intimidation. In my opinion doing so allow the citizen and community to build a relationship with them.
Citizen complaint can comes in all forms it’s just not the old people who is known “curtain twiddler” but the young people is known as a “snitch” they can also be known as confidential informal (CI).
After all information collected and someone being charged it usually boys. Boys is mostly referred to juvenile courts and arrested than girls. Girls do get referral but for stuff like running away, wanna be grown and talk back, skipping school but really nothing major. (Armstrong, 1977; Chesney-Lind, 1977). Since we determine boys or girls. Now we talking about the race another police discretion. The issue of race is a major concern in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
Is the police mainly arresting African American or minority boys? In my opinion yes, a prejudice cop would target African Americans or minority. This is another one of the police discretion that I feel strongly about.
Target or not this is a hard issue to debate reason being “African Americans and minority appears to be in more serious crimes than Caucasian”. In my opinion when the offender realize the seriousness of the crime…out comes the race card. If the race card didn’t work here they voiced their opinion on their socioeconomic status. Police discretion on socioeconomic seems to been proven in some cases. “It means that lower class youths are dragged into the net of the system for the same offenses for which middle and upper-class juvenile often are sent home. “ Basically if a juvenile comes from a somewhat wealthy family or if the family is known a slap on the wrist a juvenile can look forward to. Well, on the other hand, a low-class juvenile going to get handcuffs slap on his or her wrist.
The most important thing in my opinion of police discretion is the police and juvenile interaction. The police is the first person to in contact with the juvenile to determine the nature of the offense to see if there’s a valid citizen complaint if any or anything else. This encounter can make a situation go to the right or left immediately with no hesitation. Sherman (1997) noted that police themselves often create a risk factor for crime by using “bad manners.” Research evidence indicates that when police are less respectful toward suspects and citizens in general, then citizens also tend to have less respect for police officers and for the law. This is where the old saying “ Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to. Respect is earned, not given…Hussein Nishah.”
It’s all about the police officer personality and smart thinking approach. Common sense thinking would say any person who is unruly, uncooperative or disrespectful is much more likely to be arrested than one who cooperates with the police officer. And those who show remorse for their actions and respect the officer’s authority have more of a chance of getting only a warning. A 1964 study by Piliavin & Briar found that demeanor was the most important factor in police discretion with juvenile offenders. On the other hand, departmental policy can also hinder police discretion. In the textbook ‘Policing in America’, author Larry K. Gaines points out the system of variables that inevitably affect police officer discretion.
When court and correctional systems are backlogged, police tend to become more lenient. When a city needs revenue, police officer’s become strict. Individual discretion is likely to be affected not only by the size and structure of the local police department, but by the social service resources available in the community that might allow the officer to use non-arrest options more often. Beside of it all external pressure also plays a major part in police discretion. The whole world is watching every move that officer makes and waiting to pass judgement. The media such as newspaper, radio and Facebook is ridiculously before things can process correctly and efficient judgements been placed. An officer job is not easy especially dealing juvenile cause the way the officer handle the situation at hand can impact the juvenile life.