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Reducing Juvenile Delinquency - Essay Example

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Reducing Juvenile Delinquency Brandi Morris AIU Online Abstract A juvenile delinquent is as an underage outlaw, or an individual below the legal age who has engaged in illegal actions. The age limit is the determining factor that distinguishes between a juvenile and an adult offender…
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Reducing Juvenile Delinquency

Download file to see previous pages... There is a great variation in the manifestation of delinquency and the underlying factors behind them. Peer pressure, poor parenting, the media influence, and other societal factors are cited as some of the causes of juvenile delinquency. Addressing the matter would require multiple approaches that incorporate the input from different sectors of the society. This paper seeks to illustrate various aspects associated with juvenile delinquency and measures taken to lower the prevalence rates. Juvenile delinquency refers to the violation of law committed by a person under the legal age, and one that defies parental control, which makes him or her subject to legal action. Alternatively, a juvenile delinquent could be defined as an under aged person who has been found guilty of a crime but is protected by the law as a minor, which absolves them from full criminal responsibility (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). Normally, such violations fall outside the strict understanding of the law in the same way that it may apply to an adult offender. This implies that the violations may not be punishable by death or life imprisonment. The main objective of interventions is the rehabilitation of the underage offenders in order to convert them into law-abiding citizens. Institutions such as juvenile detention centers and courts assist in the dispensation of legal interventions based on specified procedures in the legal system. The age of criminal responsibility may be lowered in accordance with the nature and seriousness of the crime. This would imply that the individual could be tried as an adult in some specific cases. However, it is usually considered that the age factor of a juvenile delinquent makes them incompetent to stand trial. The assumption is that under age offenders lack mature judgment and cannot be held fully responsible for their actions. Children and young adults may be influenced to engage in certain activities that go against norms, laws, and expectations of the society. Such actions may develop into consistent patterns of behavior that render the children into juvenile delinquents. On a wider scale, juvenile delinquency may yield significant social disorder. Past and recent surveys have indicated that a high percentage of children and adolescents engage in activities that are in violation of the law. The reality of the situation is illustrated in the drop in the average age of first arrests made among young people. This can be attributed to the common notion that juvenile offences are normative adolescent behaviors. However, repeated or chronic offenders are most likely to carry on with the trend away from adolescence and turn into criminal elements or outlaws. At a tender age, delinquent behavior involves minor theft, but can evolve to violent acts involving the use of weapons as the individual nears the statutory age. Other delinquent behaviors include bullying, truancy, vandalism, assault, gangs, and sexual offences. It is for this reason that persons under the statutory age can be charged as adults depending on the severity of the crime. National statistics indicate an increase in the number of juvenile delinquency cases owing to numerous social factors within the society. Juvenile delinquency has its impacts on the victims as well as the society. Damages incurred by the victim may be in the form of injury or loss of property. Such an eventuality could be construed as a loss in productivity during that period. The victim may also ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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