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Scholarly paper for criminal justice - Essay Example

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Juvenile Burglars Name: Institution: Juvenile Burglars The law recognizes crime as injurious acts to the public, done in violation of duties owed to the community, the breach of which leads to punishment via a criminal proceeding (Spano & Nagy, 2005). Crime may be categorized in terms of seriousness from high to low, in that order, as felony, misdemeanor and infraction…
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Download file to see previous pages Juvenile burglars often engage in property crimes, simply referred to as juvenile theft, with the objective of obtaining property with or without force or threats against people. Such burglaries include breakages into houses, supermarkets, cars and offices. Statistics in the United States have shown that juveniles commit 35 and 25 percent, respectively, of all reported home burglaries and car robberies (Pollock, Joo & Lawton, 2010). It is further shown that most minors participate in delinquent behavior at least once. This paper will present a psycho-social profile of a juvenile burglar, including aspects of family structure, education level and socio-economic background. Experts have generalized the progression of juvenile burglary as a form of delinquency that grows in seriousness as children also grow (Pollock, Joo & Lawton, 2010). It starts at the young preschool age, where children become aggressive and defiant, and often showing signs of being emotionally disturbed. They primarily steal within the family, starting with small amounts of cash and household items. By the time they get to elementary school, such children experience difficulties both at school and home, occasionally also at social gatherings. A noticeable pattern of cheating and petty lies develops, even in matters that they could simply get away with just by telling the truth (Pollock, Joo & Lawton, 2010). They develop a dislike for following rules and obeying orders, and some steal just to impress their peers. Those who make it to high school exhibit more serious emotional and behavioral problems, and some end up being expelled or voluntarily quitting school. At this stage, they have all the time to spend with a negative peer group, where regular theft becomes an everyday engagement. This culminates into more danger for the minors because as the value of items they steal gets higher, they also appear ready to take higher risks. The motivation for juvenile burglary is also similar to other juvenile thieves; for profit, adventure, support drug habits or peer acceptance (Pollock, Joo & Lawton, 2010). Due to their susceptibility to negative influences, children living in unstable social environments and homes are considered an at-risk group. Juvenile burglary is a behavior that usually indicates other problems, and while most minors are aware that it is legally and morally wrong, they commit it as an open way to express discontentment and confusion. It is a way of symbolically displaying insecurity and unhappiness (Coupe & Blake, 2006). Apart from a few isolated cases, a consensus has been reached by most experts that family difficulties such as abuse, neglect, domestic violence and divorce/separation, are the key causes of behavioral problems during childhood. Behavioral models, values and norms derive from the family entity and are internalized by children in their development of personality, attitude and beliefs. From the family unit, children get the information and guidance on how to interact with the society, and unhealthy nurturing, unlike the healthy version, will instill dysfunctional norms. This is manifested by the loss of respect for the household unit by minors who start breaking into their own homes and steal money or objects from family members. Socio-economic aspects like poverty, peer pressure or escapism through drugs or ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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