Juvenile Interrogation: A Solutions-Based Approach to Ethics within Law Enforcement Practices
Health Sciences & Nursing, Gordon E. Inman College of
Social Work, Department of
BURS Faculty Advisor
Dr. Jennifer Crowell Thompson, PhD, LMSW
In 1967, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the case In re Gault, that juveniles should be granted the same rights as adults such as; ensuring safeguards to involuntary self-incrimination and ensuring the rights outlined in the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. However, in the State of Tennessee, there are still little to no legal protections for juveniles that interact with Law Enforcement within the Juvenile Justice System. House Bill (HB) 0365 proposes an increase in the rights and protections of juveniles within the Juvenile Justice System by requiring Law Enforcement to record any interrogation of a juvenile. This can be achieved by utilizing video or audio during the interrogation, which increases accountability and protection of juveniles and Law Enforcement Officers. This policy analysis uses news sources, statistics, and evidence-based research to advocate for policy changes and increased protections for Tennessee youths; as well as promote ethical Law Enforcement practices. HB0365 is consistent with Social Work Values and Ethics, as outlined by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). A lack of accountability in Law Enforcement can lead to unethical and discriminatory practices which can allow for minority and marginalized communities to be disproportionately represented in the Juvenile Justice System. For this reason, Social Workers should be in support of this legislation and continue to advocate for policy changes that increase the rights of juveniles in a Juvenile Justice setting.
Hoffman, Julianna; Goff, Abigail F.; and Bradford, Bailey, "Juvenile Interrogation: A Solutions-Based Approach to Ethics within Law Enforcement Practices" (2023). Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS). 211.