There are many opportunities and a continued need for law enforcement to engage in a multi-dimensional, proactive approach to young people. The National Summit on Law Enforcement Leadership in Juvenile Justice was designed to support law enforcement agencies nationwide in becoming more effective leaders in juvenile justice reform. Bringing together a diverse group of 90 law enforcement executives and other juvenile justice system stakeholders, the International Association of Chiefs of Police convened the summit in Arlington, Virginia in September 2013 with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The multidisciplinary summit had two primary goals:
- To support law enforcement executives in developing the tools and understanding they need to make preventing and addressing juvenile crime a priority in their agencies while working with youth in effective and developmentally appropriate ways.
- To enable law enforcement leaders to take a more active role as change agents in their communities, working in collaboration with partners to bring their perspectives to policymakers at the local, state, and national levels.
Summit participants met for a day and a half to discuss how best to advance these priorities. The deliberations centered on the need for law enforcement to be “smart on crime” and keep communities safe by effectively addressing both the smaller proportion of youth who commit the most serious offenses, or are at highest risk of reoffending, and those youth who commit relatively minor offenses or might only rarely come into contact with the justice system. The summit participants developed the 33 recommendations, grouped into eight topic areas, that are outlined in this report for practices and policies that advance a more constructive role for law enforcement when engaging with a broad range of juvenile offenders and at-risk youth.