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Juvenile delinquency programs in United States Juvenile crime or delinquency is one of the major problems facing by criminal justice system all over the world. Criminal justice system always give more emphasize to correction rather than punishment while dealing with juvenile crimes since juveniles are immature human beings compared to adults…
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Juvenile Delinquency Programs in United States
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Juvenile delinquency programs in United s Juvenile crime or delinquency is one of the major problems facing by criminal justice system all overthe world. Criminal justice system always give more emphasize to correction rather than punishment while dealing with juvenile crimes since juveniles are immature human beings compared to adults. There are lots of correction programs exist in United States to correct the deviant behaviour of the juveniles. However many people believe that these programs are not fully successful in preventing juveniles from repeating their criminal activities. This paper explains various juvenile delinquency programs existing in America, the effectiveness of these programs and recommendations for further improvement of these programs. “A frequent offense in our juvenile justice system today is truancy. To intercept and process truant youth, communities and schools staff truancy officers, operate truancy centres, and run truancy courts”(Truancy Centres, Truancy Officers, & Truancy Courts). Many of the American school children have a habit of wandering in the streets instead of attending their studies in schools. Parents may not be aware of such behaviours and moreover they don’t have enough time to look after such things because of their busy professional schedules. Children on the other hand exploit such opportunities and wander around the streets. It is quite possible that these children may get into the hands of antisocial elements and therefore it is necessary to identify such children. Truancy officers, operating as part of truancy centres across America have the responsibility of catching truant children. These children are often sent to truancy centres or schools for further action. In truancy centres, “children are processed to determine their school, contact their parents, arrange transportation, and provide front-line interventions” (Truancy Centres, Truancy Officers, & Truancy Courts). Truancy court uses various measures including sentencing to prevent teenagers from repeating their mistakes again. However, in many cases, the interventions of Truancy court are not sufficient enough to prevent teenagers from repeating their mistakes. The life styles have been changed a lot over the past few years and current children are tougher and bolder than the children in the past. New York City has a unique juvenile delinquency program. It gives more emphasize to the identification of the risk and protective factors related to juvenile delinquency. “Risk factors include: drug use in the home and the community; long-term unemployment in their areas; poor academic achievement; truancy; lack of positive peer influence; lack of school or community involvement; and high levels of community or family violence” (New York State Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Program). This program seems to be more effective than some other juvenile delinquency programs in United Sates. New York’s juvenile delinquency program works on the principle that “Prevention is better than cure”. In other words, this program believes that prevention of juvenile crime is more important than the correction of juvenile offenders. “Prenatal and Infancy Home Visitation by Nurses program, Parent-Child Interaction Training Program, Bullying Prevention Program, The Functional Family Therapy program” (Juvenile Delinquency Prevention) etc are some other juvenile delinquency programs in America at present. Prenatal and Infancy Home Visitation by Nurses is a program intended to strengthen the healthcare measures of the parents and children of low income families. “A 15-year follow-up study found that mothers and children involved in the program had had a 79 percent lower child abuse rate, a 56 percent lower child runaway rate, and a 56 percent lower child arrest rate” (Juvenile Delinquency Prevention). Parent –Child interaction training program is intended to strengthen the ties between parents and children through effective interactions. One of the major reasons for the increasing crime rates among teenagers is the lack of communication between parents and children. This program is intended to enhance the bi-way communication between children and their parents so that children can seek guidance from their parents to correct their problems. This program also yields phenomenal results in reducing juvenile crimes in America. Bullying is another major reason which forces juveniles to react aggressively. Bullying prevention program identifies offenders and victims and suggests precautionary measures to prevent bullying in school compounds. This program is not much successful in preventing juvenile crimes. The functional family therapy program is intended to educate both parents and children at the same time. Many of the parents have a false belief that their approaches and attitudes towards their children need no changes or correction. Family therapy program reveals the loopholes in the behaviors of both the children and the parents and it suggests remedial measures. This program is also useful in preventing juvenile crimes in America since many of the juvenile offenders are showing criminal attitude because of the non-friendly behaviors of their parents. In my opinion, in combating juvenile delinquency, family therapy program seems to be the suitable one. Parents have more responsibility in preventing juvenile crimes than the criminal justice system or the society. Juveniles should be taught lessons of good behavior and morality in their homes itself. It is illogical and illegal to neglect the needs of children by the parents in the citing insufficient time or professional commitments as reasons. Family therapy will definitely assist children and parents in correcting problems in their beliefs and attitudes so that juvenile crime rates could be reduced. Works Cited “Juvenile Delinquency Prevention”. 2008. Web 02 January 2012. “New York State Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Program”. Web 02 January 2012. “Truancy Centers, Truancy Officers, & Truancy Courts”. Web 02 January 2012. Read More
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