About the CCRC
Challenges to Law Enforcement
The investigation and prosecution of crimes involving children and adolescents pose special challenges for law enforcement--problems related to the immaturity of children, their vulnerability to intimidation, the prejudices of judges and juries, and the frequent involvement of family members as perpetrators.
The justice system has contact with juvenile victims in five main contexts, sometimes explicitly in the role of victim and sometimes in other roles:
- Young crime victims whose testimony is crucial in criminal investigations and prosecutions, including sexually and physically assaulted and abducted children, as well as children who witness domestic and street crimes
- Victims of child abuse and neglect involved in child protection actions
- Children exposed to domestic violence or family abductions, whose parents are involved with the criminal justice system
- Juvenile criminal offenders, who frequently have histories of crime and abuse victimization
- Juvenile status offenders, who also tend to have histories of crime and abuse victimization
The passage of young victims through the justice system at these various levels provides opportunities to identify them and provide them with help. The CCRC is committed to develop knowledge that will assist the creation of appropriate programs and policies for these young people.