Introduction: There are many theories that attempt to explain the phenomenon of juvenile delinquency and the factors that cause it. There is, and has been, a great amount of young people who engage in delinquent behavior throughout the nation and worldwide. What exactly is the catalyst that incites these young people to commit crime and stray from the ethical norm established in society? Are all youth susceptible to the temptation of deviant behavior or is it just some? Theories suggest different possible etiologies, which include: social factors, biological factors, psychological factors and physiological factors, among other things that may mold a child into a juvenile delinquent.
Without this explanation, it would be impossible to explain a great deal of the factors involved in juvenile delinquency. Social Deviance Theory and Development Theories are the umbrellas under which other theories used to explain juvenile delinquency fall. Depending on the criminal and the type of crime committed, different theories are used. Youth violence in our country has risen dramatically in the past decade. The number of violent arrests of youth under the age 18 has increased dramtically: 36 percent between 1989 and 1993, more than 4 times the increased reported for adults.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation Report (1993) noted that one violent crime (e.g. aggravated assault, murder) was committed every 22 seconds in 1992, and 15% of those arrested for such crimes were under the age of 18 (Sutton, ete.al. 1999). Juvenile delinquency is becoming more common. The age at which these young kids are committing crimes is getting younger.
Due to this label, it could be seen that juveniles have no choice other than to live up to the labels presented to them and that labelling a youth as a criminal has adverse affects as to what was desired. It’s argues that by labelling someone as a criminal it traps them into that career and fulfils a self fulfilling prophesy (Carr and Wahidin, 2013). Another thing that crime has often been linked to is the level of intelligence an individual has. The common theory is that if someone has a lower level of intelligence then they will be more likely to struggle during education and could be more likely to rebel in the form of criminal acts. However saying this, intelligence is often a feature in unsuccessful criminals (That’s to say, those who are caught) (Burke,
Many diversion programs have tried to prevent future delinquency by guiding, teaching, and rehabilitating youth that commit crimes. Yet, certain crimes crimes committed by children and adolescents have different approaches. Based on the seriousness of the crime, the adolescent will be charged as an adult. This approach does not address the current strain or situation the person is going through. Therefore, juvenile courts and diversion programs are extremely important when dealing with juvenile
An important factor of criminal psychology is dissecting where criminal patterns, behaviors, and thoughts originate. By tracing deviant behaviors back to where they begin, psychologists can identify popular causes and similarities in criminal backgrounds. The experiences adolescents have in their childhood, as well as biological factors, can significantly shape a child’s future psyche. The History of Criminal Psychology Relating to Children Criminal psychology is the study of criminal patterns and behaviors and why criminals act the way they do. Though children are portrayed as a picture of innocence, there are many cases of violence revolving around adolescents.
Juvenile justice system researchers and professionals must gain a better understanding of the contributing elements that cause delinquent behavior. The study seeks to determine the most prevalent causes among the criminal population that induce a propensity for criminal behavior. There needs to be a balance among attributing behavior to specific causes, but strong causal designs of intervention programs can risk unsuccessful or uncertain program outcomes, although weak causal reasoning cannot be adopted to practical use and the creation of interventions (Borowski, 2003). Past theories occasionally described juvenile delinquency attributed to a single factor: Poverty and social disorganization in neighborhoods, or more proximal causes such as problematic peer influences or ego deficiency (Borowski, 2003). The approach in recent models has been that delinquent behavior is due to a large number of factors operating at different levels, including both proximal and distal factors.
If a minor grows up in an environment that offers negative impacts they would most likely grow up behaving the same way because that was how life was for them. There are hundreds of risk factors that if presented to a minor they would be at risk for juvenile delinquency but in this case the leading causes of youth offending would be academic failure and family difficulties. Children and adolescents who do not do well in school have higher chances of becoming a juvenile delinquent. From getting bad grades to dropping out of school can cause a juvenile to have a lack of social skills which can stimulate a student's ability to act out on crime. According to Legislative Analyst’s Office or LAO, which is a nonpartisan government agency which has conducted studies that shows that, “Poor academic performance, poor attendance, and more likely, expulsion is an important factor for predicting future criminal behavior.” (LAO) LAO’s studies implies that students who do not do well in school and those who do not attend school on a regular basis are prone to become juvenile delinquents in the future.
2. Define at least three legal factors that affect police discretion in arrests, as discussed by your author. One legal factor that affects police discretion is the seriousness of the offence. For example, if a juvenile is involved in a murder then it is more likely for the juvenile to go under arrest since the act committed is considered a serious criminal offense. The same would apply to forcible rape, aggravated assault, and robbery.
There have been many studies conducted to establish a conclusion as to why individuals engage in malicious actions which unfortunately have not derived to a single conclusion. The reason so is that individuals engage in crimes base on different reasons, some of which are strikingly seen in juveniles. At the age of youth, children are curios and wanting to try new things while at the same time adjusting and trying to find their meaning in life. The environment and leaders in a child’s life are such influential that a wrong move may diverge them into the wrong path of criminal actions. When imposing punishments on these juveniles, it hard to find the correct punishment, especially when dealing with imposing the death penalty.