2-2 Journal: Juvenile Versus Adult: Integrity, Authority, and Discretionary Power


Now that you’ve reviewed the resources about integrity, authority, and discretionary power, you are familiar with the definition of each and the relationship among them. In this 350- to 500-word journal entry, address the following:

  • Explain the relationship between integrity, authority, and discretionary power:
    • Define each: integrity, authority, and discretionary power.
    • Compare and contrast each: How are they different? How are they similar? How are they connected?
  • Describe the roles integrity, authority, and discretionary power play in all aspects of criminal justice when addressing an adult defendant.
  • Describe the roles integrity, authority, and discretionary power play in all aspects of criminal justice when addressing a juvenile defendant.
  • Explain the differences in the roles integrity, authority, and discretionary power play when addressing an adult defendant versus addressing a juvenile defendant:
    • Does one play a more vital role than others in either instance?
    • Provide a rationale as to why changes occur when going from adult to juvenile or vice versa.


Being truthful, having strong moral values, and being morally upright are all characteristics of integrity. A duty that entails an irrefutable right to obey. Making judgments, enforcing discipline, and giving directions. As a matter of logic and judgment, discretionary power refers to the authority or right to choose among acceptable options according to logic and judgment (Pollock, 2018). Being ethical even when no one is looking is the mark of integrity, and unfortunately, not every authority figure possesses it. Leadership positions can occasionally be misused by those in positions of power. They abuse their discretionary power instead of defending their values. Authority is like discretionary power in that some types of authority give the authority holder discretionary power. Integrity plays a crucial role in the exercise of discretionary power. Doing the right thing requires people’s trust.

Depending on their level of honesty, authority, and discretion, adult and juvenile defendants play different roles. In the criminal justice system, juvenile criminals are more likely to be forgiven than adult criminals. Then adult criminals. As well as evaluating the juvenile’s age and mental state, they will investigate the offense committed. It gives them the chance to learn from their mistakes and not end up back in the revolving door, so they don’t end up back in the revolving door. Adolescents who don’t fully comprehend the consequences of their actions may not fully comprehend the consequences of their actions. Criminals who commit the same crime as juveniles may experience harsher sentences since they are supposed to know better and comprehend the consequences of their actions.

As an example, if an adult criminal is driving unsafely and breaking the law and a police officer spot him and pulls him over, the officer, exercising his discretion, issues him a ticket. The adult knows better, has been driving for many years, and has the capacity to cause harm. However, if it were a juvenile, the officer may issue a warning and arrange for the juvenile to attend safety training. This will prevent the juvenile from making wrong decisions that would lead to harmful behaviors

If the department is renowned in the community for misusing its power and authority, the adult criminal may not trust the officer. He may believe he is being stopped because of his race. If the criminal perceives that abuse is a factor, he may refuse to acknowledge the officer’s authority and fight his demands. The same may be said for juveniles who think the department is misusing its power and authority. Instead of obeying the officer, the juvenile can defy the officer, flee the situation, or struggle. Individuals will lose faith in the officer if he lacks honesty from the outset.

While reading the article about the two judges who misused their position, I did not believe there is a substantial difference in how the roles of an adult and juvenile offender play out. A minor was detained for many days after failing to appear at a hearing as a witness to a fight, even though he had never received a summons to appear in court (Urbina, 2009). The judge abused his authority, integrity, and power by punishing the juvenile with a harsher crime for his own benefit; this could potentially impact the juvenile’s future by causing him to lose trust in the criminal justice system, leaving him with the impression that they already see him as a criminal and will punish him accordingly. From then on, he perceives the system as being wrong, which may have an influence on his future interactions with law enforcement and decisions to commit crimes. It is equally critical for adult criminals; however, it may not have the same impact as it does for a juvenile who is still learning and trusting of the world.

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