The major causes of juvenile delinquency
Causes of juvenile delinquency can be grouped into three main categories. These include the individual risk factors, the family risk factors, and finally the mental health factors. Under the individual risk factors, it is prudent to note that a lack of proper education coupled with lower intelligence might pose a serious risk to a minor in terms of engaging in criminal activities while still at a tender age.
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It has been proven that a child who does not receive adequate education has a higher probability of engaging in crime than the one who is well educated. However, this does not refute the fact that there is a portion of those who are educated but still engage in childhood crimes until when they are adults. In addition, when a child is unable to delay the desire to gratify all of his or her needs, it opens up a pathway towards juvenile delinquency.
Secondly, the development of criminal acts among children is also linked with various family risk factors. The nature of family upbringing may determine the final behavioral pattern of a minor. For instance, if parents are generally ignorant of the law and perhaps break the same laws in front of children, there is a possibility that such children may gradually develop into juvenile delinquents. Moreover, there are some parents who do not supervise the behavioral development of their children and therefore they are not aware when their children are going astray, such lack of parental concern is a major recipe for juvenile delinquency. Other family-related issues include abuse and neglect of minors as well as conflicts among parents.
Thirdly, there are quite a number of mental health factors that may trigger juvenile delinquency. Although there are certain mental health factors that can be diagnosed in the early life of a child, there are those that cannot be openly examined.
The major problems with combating juvenile delinquency in Luzerne County
Luzern County is one of the regions that have been experiencing a growing trend of juvenile delinquency for a considerably long time. Although the county administration in collaboration with the local children’s department officers has been working against curtailing juvenile delinquency in this region, there are quite a number of challenges that are yet to be resolved. Combating childhood acts of crime has been thwarted by a lack of adequate data of children who have been suspected to be taking part in petty crimes. While the local government authorities have set up myriads of rehabilitation centers to cater to the growing number of juvenile deliquescent, there is a serious lack of cooperation between parents and the local law enforcement authorities.
Moreover, the county appears to be quite large in terms of geographical coverage. Although some funds are usually allocated to the county in order to cater to the growing menace, additional funding is still required. For example, the process of rehabilitating minors requires adequate staffing officers positioned in various strategic locations within the county. Attaining the latter objective has not been easy at all.
The differences between the juvenile justice system and the adult justice system
The juvenile justice system is specifically concerned with prosecuting delinquent acts and not crimes. When the acts committed by children surpass certain levels, they may be considered petty crimes. However, the adult justice system is specifically meant to prosecute acts of crimes after which an individual may be sentenced to a jail term when found guilty.
Secondly, when a minor has been presented before a jury, it is usually the duty of the presiding judge to listen to the case and finally determine whether the child is indeed delinquent. However, the adult justice system does not allow this type of adjudication hearing. Moreover, the adult criminal justice system aims at punishing the offender if he or she is found guilty of the alleged offense. In the case of a delinquent minor, the purpose is not to inflict any kind of pain on the minor. The latter is supposed to be given some lenient form of a sentence with the aim of offering the much-needed rehabilitation measures.
Finally, adult courts are more formal than those that handle cases for minors.
These differences exist because a minor taking part in criminal activities is largely considered to be acting out of childhood aggression without a clear state of the mind and maturity. In the case of adults, crimes are committed within the full conscience of the perpetrator. This explains why the two justice systems cannot be the same.
The development of the relationship between youth and the police
As children grow up, they are usually exposed to the events taking place in their immediate surroundings. Their views and perceptions are shaped by the occurrences within their environment. Most importantly, views expressed by others also tend to form the larger part of their individual opinions in life. The police force is generally known to be aggressive when performing its duties. In some cases, they even turn out to be ruthless when carrying out arrests of suspected criminals. As the youth grow up, they develop a negative mindset of the police and largely consider them as enemies to their freedom in life.
The bitter relationship between the youth and the police (due to ruthlessness) is the main reason why policing delinquency has not been successful. Hence, the policing system should be restructured in such a way that all members of a given community can relate well with the officers. The police force should adopt a more friendly and humane way of arresting criminals.
Social Learning Theory vs. Social/Self Control theory in juvenile delinquency
According to the social learning theory, there are quite a number of determinants that are instrumental in the social growth of an individual. These include the environment, personal intrinsic behaviors, and how the two interact cognitively with each other. For instance, aggression during childhood may be aggravated by regular exposure to family conflicts. Additionally, adolescents are mostly influenced by peer pressure. The peers form a vital part of their social learning. On the same note, when adolescents are exposed to violent peers, they are highly likely to acquire a violent type of social learning.
On the other hand, the social/elf control theory asserts that there are four social bonds that impede minors from taking part in delinquency. They include beliefs, involvement, commitment, and attachment. This implies that the four given bonds are capable of preventing minors or adults from committing various offenses.
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However, I support the social learning theory as the best explanation of why people engage in acts of crime. We are heavily influenced by our peers in most things that we do even during adulthood.
The study of juvenile delinquency
There are two main methods of studying juvenile delinquency. These include theoretical and empirical research studies. Although both methods are usually executed using scientific principles, they inevitably complement each other. Under the theoretical method, studies are carried out past qualitative data. There are a lot of psychological and scientific explanations that are attached to theoretical study. This method is nonetheless difficult to prove. However, empirical research studies use real data gathered from the field. Participants are surveyed using a particular study design and methodology. This method requires a lot of time and monetary resources for it to be successful.
Gender as an important factor in the study of delinquency
In the case of boys, the social/self-control theory is most applicable bearing in mind that they are minimally influenced by their peers when it comes to setting certain social standards. On the other hand, girls are more prone to social influence and therefore the social learning theory fits them. In other words, girls tend to be more aware and conscious of their environment than boys. This compels them to seek a sense of belonging so that they can fit within their immediate social constructs.
The continuing significance and importance of race as it relates to juvenile delinquency
Juvenile delinquency has been significantly affected by the aspect of race in the sense that there are conflicting studies on how race has influenced juvenile arrests. For example, there are studies that indicate that juvenile delinquent arrests are usually biased in terms of race. There are certain races that are targeted when it comes to such arrests. Nevertheless, there are studies that reveal that race is not a determining factor when making arrests relate to juvenile delinquency.
If the two divergent studies are disregarded, it is still factual that most delinquent cases are prevalent among minority groups since most households can hardly secure the best education for their children. Poverty is also a major contributor to juvenile delinquency among minority races.
The ways the superintendent of a school district can reduce a high rate of juvenile delinquency
I would begin by making sure that no new cases of juvenile delinquency spring up. It is better to tackle the challenge before it takes place. I will initiate this strategy by investigating the local causes of juvenile delinquency. In particular, I will target individual homes by putting up measures on how living conditions can be improved. As such, the provision of employment to family members that have attained working age will be a priority in my measures. Moreover, I will work alongside the local education officers to make sure that all children who have attained the age of going to school are not left out of the system.
Parents’ education for prevention of children’s delinquency
I would start talking to my children at the tender age of 4 years because they can at least comprehend what happens in the immediate world. Child age 4 years is also very inquisitive and learns a lot by what he or she interacts with within the immediate environment.
Sociobiological reasons of juvenile delinquency
There are quite a number of socio-biological reasons why juvenile delinquency takes place. In the case of children below ten years, psychological disorders play an integral role in shaping their characters. Some of these minors may also be experiencing learning disabilities and that is why they find themselves ready to overact in order to compensate for their slow pace of learning. The case with adolescents is even more vivid than those of young children. For instance, puberty is a major precursor to delinquent behaviors among adolescents. This may continue up to the time when they become young adults.
The labeling process
When a minor is continually noted to be conducting him or herself in an unacceptable manner, there is a higher likelihood of being labeled as a juvenile delinquent. Even though such a character may be acting out of curiosity and innocence, the label may not be disregarded that soon. However, such labels may assist in correcting some upcoming delinquent acts before the minor gets out of control.
The relationships between the family and delinquency
The immediate family plays both a destructive and constructive role in the process of molding young responsible characters in society. For instance, families that often engage in conflicts are highly likely to impact negatively minors who mainly learn through cognition. On the other hand, families that demonstrate cohesiveness and care for each other are least likely to experience difficulties with the development of their children’s behavioral patterns.