All About Juvenile Delinquency
What is Juvenile Delinquency?
Juvenile delinquency is a term that describes behaviors related to criminality during the juvenile period, which is between the ages of 10 and 17. The term usually refers to offenses committed by juveniles after they turn 10 years of age and before they turn 18. Juveniles who commit serious crimes usually become adult offenders or youthful offenders, depending on the seriousness of their crime. Juvenile delinquency is a topic covered in buy psychology research paper and we have expert tutors to help with any juvenile delinquency assignment.
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Causes of Juvenile Delinquency
The following are the leading factors of juvenile delinquency:
1. Lack of Access to Education
Juvenile delinquency mostly occurs in rural areas where children do not have access to formal education. This situation is more common in developing countries than in developed ones.
Studies show that when kids do not have access to formal education, they experience poor performance in school and low academic achievement. Improving access to formal education is essential for improving juvenile delinquency.
Poverty is the leading factor of juvenile delinquency. Studies show that poor children are more likely to commit crimes when compared to rich children. Lack of resources and low self-esteem are some of the things that cause poverty, which leads to juvenile delinquency.
The home environment and school environment, where kids spend most of their time, play a major part in influencing the development of kids. When kids lack access to resources like groceries and proper clothing, they tend to lose self-confidence.
3. Family Discord in the Home
The home is the first institution where kids spend most of their time. A family breakdown in the home is a major factor in juvenile delinquency. In most cases, parents use physical abuse to discipline their kids. Children who grow up and are exposed to other forms of sexual and substance abuse are likely to engage in criminal activities. Juvenile delinquency may also be as a result of salutary neglect from the care giver.
5. Stress and Peer Pressure From the Incorrect Companionship of Miscreants, Bullies, and Antisocial Peers
Kids who experience bullying and peer pressure are often at the center of delinquent behavior. When children lack the proper guidance and support, they begin to engage in delinquent behaviors to be accepted by their peers or to make up for their bullies.
Factors that contribute to Juvenile Delinquency
Various factors contribute to juvenile delinquency:
• Lack of parental guidance and moral education
Parents often lack the skills to guide their children and show them proper ways of doing things. They also lack the knowledge of moral values their kids should be exposed to before reaching a certain age. These factors contribute to delinquent behavior among juveniles.
• The parents do not engage in activities with their kids, like playing games and reading stories; instead, they focus on earning money or going out with friends.
• The parents have low expectations of kids, are unorganized in their functions and responsibilities, and lack the skills to teach kids the right things. These factors contribute to juvenile delinquency among children.
• Children grow up at an early age, experience stress, feel insecure, and develop problems in their social life. These factors are mostly attributed to juvenile delinquency.
Other factors that contribute to juvenile delinquency are:
Theories of Juvenile Delinquency
1. The Anomie Theory
The Anomie Theory suggests that poor social conditions influence a child’s behavior in their environment. The lack of parental guidance, moral education, and upbringing causes children to engage in delinquent behaviors that they have not experienced before.
2. The Subculture Theory
Subculture Theory suggests that delinquent behaviors result from peer pressure, which is common in countries where many people belong to a particular subculture. It is the influence of a group of people who make up a subculture to encourage others to behave in ways that are considered inappropriate or wrong.
3. The Differential Opportunity Theory
Differential Opportunity Theory suggests that demographic factors and family conditions contribute to juvenile delinquency. This theory also states that people who have the same background and family background may have the same problems in life, but due to the different upbringing they have, they encounter different problems.
The Differential Opportunity Theory highlights families with only one parent, large families, single-parent families with one or no male parent present, low-income families with high crime rates in their neighborhoods and districts, poor schools and low academic achievement, etc.
Characteristics of Juvenile Delinquency
1. Juvenile delinquency is related to other criminal behavior.
Juvenile delinquency involves the commission of a crime by a child or minor under the age of 18 years. The term is often used in juvenile court, which tries those accused of committing crimes while in their youth.
2. Data on juvenile delinquency is limited.
The data on juvenile delinquency mainly concerns the juveniles who have been charged with an offense and are being processed through the system as accused or adjudicated offenders.
3. Juvenile delinquency is defined differently across different countries and states.
Juvenile delinquency is considered a behavior that occurs when a child under 18 commits an offense, such as stealing or vandalism, which may harm his or another person’s property or cause others to be injured.
4. Juvenile delinquency may be related to a mental illness.
It is very common for juvenile delinquents to have serious problems with drugs, alcohol, and mental illness. Many times, these are the underlying factors that cause their criminal behavior.
Ways to prevent Juvenile Delinquency
1. Implement laws to control the sale of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco to minors.
2. Provide easy access to substance abuse treatment and prevention programs in schools and community-based organizations.
3. Provide excellent opportunities for youth diversion programs and ensure they are delivered by people who have a good understanding of the juvenile justice system and juvenile offenders’ needs to avoid recidivism.
Effects of Juvenile Delinquency
1. Increase in the number of arrests among juveniles and young adults.
2. Increase in the number of youth in the juvenile justice system.
3. Increased economic costs resulting from juvenile crimes.
4. Increased social costs resulting from juvenile crimes, including increased mental health and substance abuse treatment costs, increased educational costs, and loss of productivity due to incarceration, among other factors.
5. Decreased quality of life in neighborhoods and communities with high crime rates and drug use by juveniles.