A juvenile is defined as not yet adult; young, childish, immature. In the United States, definitions and age limits of juveniles vary. The 16-20 year old age group has one of the highest incidences of serious crime (ojjdp.org). In 1994, juveniles accounted for 19% of all violent crime arrests in The United States. Although juvenile arrests for violent crimes declined 3% from 1994-1995 (the first decrease in almost ten years), the number of juvenile violent crime arrests in 1995 was 67% above the 1986 level. Among juvenile offenders, males make up 85% of the total arrests for violent crime index offenses (Colorado.edu). Females make up 34%. Boys ages 12-17 are one and a half more likely to be victims of violent crimes than girls. Minorities play a key role in juvenile crimes. African American juveniles were six times more likely than Caucasian juveniles to be victims of homicide in 2002.
Juvenile Crime There has always been alarm and despair over escalating juvenile crime. In the 1950s there were reports about the mushrooming problems with youthful gangs in the big cities. In the 1960s we began to hear about a surge of juvenile crime in areas that had been regarded as virtually crime free. In the suburbs as well as the inner cities, youngsters were dropping out of school, using drugs and committing crimes.
Juvenile Delinquency in the States Presently, juvenile justice is widely acknowledged as being in a state of flux in the United States. The early 1990s saw the most substantial rise in violent crime committed by juveniles ever experienced in this country. On the heels of decades of skepticism about the effectiveness of parens patriae (the state as parent), this rise was the "proof" for many "experts" who believe that the juvenile justice system should be abolished. These skeptics reason that one criminal court could still have some latitude when sentencing younger offenders, but that kids are now committing adult crimes, so it is time to treat them as adults.
Juvenile crime is a growing problem that endangers virtually every American. Juvenile delinquency is enormously damaging to the health and well-being of the nations families and communities. A juvenile crime can consist of DUI, robbery, rape, minor in possession, weapon in possession anything an adult can be charged with. Individuals under the age of eighteen who commit these crimes can be charged as a juvenile delinquent. Statistics show that most juveniles that commit crimes are in a gang; weather its street related or school related. The average cost of caring for an incarcerated juvenile is more than $40,000 a year. Vandalism in schools cost more than two-hundred million a year, and vandalism directed at personal property is even more expensive. Most juveniles commit crimes because of peer pressure or broken homes. When a minor commits a crime, a state will classify them as a juvenile delinquent.
From 1980 to 2012, juveniles arrest rate for aggravated assault decreased by 22%. Though in 2005 there was a minor increase for aggravated assault by juveniles, but this increase is so small and irrelevant related to the overall decline that begun in the 1990s. In 1994, was the highest arrest rate for juveniles who committed aggravated assault which was 124.5 arrests per 100,000 people. In 2012, was the lowest arrest rate with 49.9 arrests per 100,000 people and lowest in 27 years dated back to 1980. Arrest rate for all ages that committed aggravated assault was higher. Focusing on the y-axis, the range is high for arrest rates for aggravated assault and is almost doubled in size during some years than juvenile’s arrests. Just as juvenile arrests
History of Juvenile Crime in the United States There is very little information about the history of juvenile crime. So, in order to provide insight into juvenile crime I will first discuss be the history of America’s juvenile justice system. One of the main debates in modern time is who has the responsibility of directing the juvenile justice system so that it can become an avenue for helping prevent juvenile crimes. Juvenile crime is defined as the participation in illegal behavior by individuals younger than the statutory age of majority. Most justice systems have specific facilities for housing juveniles.
The U.S made legal history in 1989 when the world’s first juvenile court opened in Chicago (Rank, J.) Since 1990 many states have also adopted the “get tough” approach to juvenile justice as a response to the increasingly violent crimes committed by children. Juvenile crime escalated to an all time high, and then started to decrease in 1995 when images on television, such as the Springfield, Oregon, rampage of 15-year-old Kip Kinkel who shot both of his parents and then two of his classmates. The impression of citizens in the United States was that juvenile crime is out of control. (Levinson) Now Juveniles are being prosecuted a lot more than adults in adult courts.
Portfolio on Juvenile Status Offenders A juvenile status offender is a youth charged with an offense that is not consider a crime if committed by an adult; this would include but not limited to running away from home, curfew violations, underage drinking, skipping school, or beyond a parents control. Status offenders are usually not incarcerated on their first offense, but violating a court order can find them as delinquent who can result in being place in a correction or detention facility. Juvenile crime statistics are gathered from local law enforcement agencies by the FBI in order to better understand the nature and extent of juvenile crimes in the United States. Juvenile crime statistics reflect arrest information and do not account for unreported juvenile crime rates. Juvenile crime statistics rates have steadily dropped since 1994 when crimes involving juveniles reached a record high.
Juvenile crime in the United States is ballooning out of control along with adult crimes, and politicians and law enforcement officials don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. Despite tougher sentencing laws, longer probation terms, and all other efforts of lawmakers, the crime and recidivism rates in our country can’t be reduced. The failure of these recent measures along with new research and studies by county juvenile delinquency programs point to the only real cure to the U.S.’s crime problem: prevention programs. The rising crime rates in the United States are of much worry to most of the U.S.’s citizens, and seems to be gaining a sense of urgency. Crime ranks highest in nationwide polls as Americans’ biggest concern (Daltry 22). For good reason- twice as many people have been victims of crimes in the 1990s as in the 1970s (Betts 36). Four times as many people under the age of eighteen were arrested for homicide with a handgun in 1993 than in 1983 (Schiraldi 11A). These problems don’t have a quick fix solution, or even an answer that everyone can agree on. A study by the Campaign for an Effective Crime Policy has found no deterrent effects of the “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law recently put into effect by politicians (Feinsilber 1A). It has been agreed however that there is not much hope of rehabilitating criminals once started on a life of crime. Criminologist David Kuzmeski sums up this feeling by saying, “If society wants to protect itself from violent criminals, the best way it can do it is lock them up until they are over thirty years of age.... I am not aware of any treatment that has been particularly successful.” The problem with his plan is that our country simply doesn’t have the jail space, or money to ...
A recent article in USA Today cited a 2012 National Crime Victimization Survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics which found that 26 of every 1,000 people experienced violent crime. This report follows a 2012 Uniform Crime Report released by the Federal Bureau of Investigations in September of 2013, which documented more than 1.2 million violent crimes nationwide — about 1% more than in 2011. For 2011, data from the Victims survey also showed an increase in violent crime: up 17% from 2010, the sharpest rise in two decades. Unfortunately, it was not until the last twenty to thirty years that governmental agencies have taken a proactive approach to addressing the many factors that contribute to an individual’s tendency to commit these types of crimes as a method of preventing or reducing crime in communities. Accordingly, these organizations have shifted their focus from the punishment of, to the prevention of violent crime.