Using the commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a case-study, along with two other states as controls, this book examines how BARJ legislation “trickles down” to the law enforcement level through Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy (PJJSES) and the Juvenile Justice Act (JJA). This legislation is a direct application of the BARJ model to law enforcement, essentially directing police discretion in the direction of informal dispositions. The decision to dispose formal action (such as, a referral to either juvenile court/probation, criminal court, or adult criminal court) or informal action (for instance, handling the situation within the department and/or releasing the juveniles to parents with a warning), play an integral role in determining which juveniles contact the justice system. To this end, while the overall focus of our volume and research is specifically on the impact of the PJJSES and its 2012 amendments on the number of formal dispositions of juvenile suspects by law enforcement officers, it speaks more broadly to the ability of the BARJ model to affect police officer behavior through influencing their decision-making processes.
Samantha L. Bennett is assistant professor of criminal justice at Muskingum University.
Jonathon A. Cooper is dean's associate for academic affairs in the College of Health and Human Services and associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Chapter 1: A Primer on the Historical Development of Juvenile Justice
Chapter 2: Balanced and Restorative Justice
Chapter 3: Police and Discretion
Chapter 4: Our Questions and How We Answered Them
Chapter 5: BARJ and the Police in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Minnesota
Chapter 6: Does Legislation Matter? What it All Means.
Chapter 7: Policy and Behavior: Policing Juveniles in the 21st Century
Appendix A: Data Management
Appendix B: Change Scores
About the Authors
Police Pursuing Justice is an engaging and well-written book that provides a thorough examination of the impact of BARJ legislation on policing in three states of the United States. This book can be an excellent resource for students/scholars who are interested in restorative justice policing.
Detailed and inspired look at policing juveniles in the United States. It offers a theoretically informed, truly balanced, and evidence-based perspective. A must-read for policing and juvenile justice scholars alike, and for anyone teaching a contemporary issue or senior proseminar course.
In their book, Police Pursuing Justice: Reframing Law Enforcement for the Twenty-First Century, Samantha Bennett and Jonathon Cooper, lay out a compelling argument applicable to modern day law enforcement. The highlight of this text is the simplicity they used to discuss difficult, and often dense, topics. For example, their breakdown of topics such as the case law around discretion, Klinger’s Ecological Theory of police discretion, and the methodological applications for their research, to name a few. Despite the academic approach to topics, I found this book engaging, easy to read, and thought-provoking.