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Justice for KidsKeeping Kids Out of the Juvenile Justice System$
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Nancy E. Dowd

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814721377

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814721377.001.0001

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“I Want to Talk to My Mom”

“I Want to Talk to My Mom”

The Role of Parents in Police Interrogation of Juveniles

(p.219) 10 “I Want to Talk to My Mom”
Justice for Kids

Stephen M. Reba

Randee J. Waldman

Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

NYU Press

This chapter examines the role of parents in the interviewing of juveniles by the police, the issues arising from such interrogation, and the implications of such issues for prevention of juvenile delinquency. It presents the case of a fifteen-year-old boy and the various questions it raises with respect to law and policy, including questions located at the intersection of juvenile justice, child development, and constitutional doctrines of family privacy and parental authority. The chapter first reviews the state and federal laws and constitutional principles that protect the parent–child relationship and recognize the parent's role in guiding her minor child. It then discusses three policy options for parental involvement in the interrogation process: to maintain the status quo, to keep parents out of the interrogation process entirely, or to involve parents in the interrogation process. It argues that parent–child communication during police interrogation should be privileged and confidential and concludes by outlining a series of steps to preserve the parent–child relationship when a child is in police custody to make sure that the positive role of family is not undermined.

Keywords:   parents, juveniles, police, juvenile delinquency, juvenile justice, child development, privacy, parental authority, parent–child relationship, police interrogation

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