Juvenile Delinquency : A Serious Problem Essay

Juvenile Delinquency : A Serious Problem Essay

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Juvenile delinquency is a serious problem affecting offenders, communities, and all of society physically, emotionally, and economically. Each year, millions of juveniles are arrested for delinquency and even more participate or are at risk of participating in acts of delinquency. Delinquents face numerous challenges including risk for incarceration, school drop-out, drug use and an increase in the likelihood of adult criminality (Sherman et al., 1998). Numerous programs attempt to prevent delinquency and rehabilitate delinquents, however most fail to produce significant results. The failure of these programs result from ineffective program models focusing on removing juveniles from their families and communities or scaring them into obedience; evidence now shows these programs do more harm than good. Family and community support is an important aspect in managing delinquency, a factor many programs fail to take advantage of. Programs utilizing family and community support maintain better results and substantially lower costs.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s, juvenile delinquency hit ‘epidemic’ levels, raising awareness; as a result, policymakers enacted several measures to reduce delinquency. Over the next ten years, numerous programs were enacted to reduce delinquency including D.A.R.E, Zero-Tolerance, Scared Straight, military-style correctional boot camps, and traditional detention centers (Sherman et al., 1998; Howell, 2003). These programs insignificantly effected delinquency due to inadequate methods unable to address the overall problem. Many of these programs focus on scaring youth into obedience or separating them emotionally and physically from their families and communities through detention, negatively impacting reha...


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...n be quelled. Family is an important aspect to reducing and treating delinquency and without the support of communities and families, delinquency prevention and intervention programs will fail.
Methodology
There are over 272 juvenile justice programs within Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP) Model Programs Guide (MPG). These agencies conduct thorough studies on a variety of programs found to be effective, ineffective, and promising. Through the use of Blueprints and MPG, as well as meta-analysis of specific programs, this study plans to identify a number of effective, ineffective, and promising programs based on recidivism rates. Following the identification of a spectrum of programs, a comparison of these programs through the scope of family and community involvement will be conducted.

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