Social Factors Contributing to the Juvenile Crime

One of the most notable causes of juvenile delinquency is fiat or the findings that a juvenile is delinquent by the juvenile court system without any trial, and the findings are only probable cause. Many states have laws that have less harsh treatment of juvenile delinquents than adult treatment. In return, the juvenile surrenders certain some of their rights such as a right to trial by jury, the right to cross-examine, and even the right to a speedy trial. Notable writings by reformers show that very few juvenile delinquents actually broke any law. Most were simply rounded up by the police after some event that possibly involved criminal action. They were brought before juvenile court judges who said they were delinquents, simply because the police on duty established probable cause (Wikipedia).

Its clear many experts can give us many theories as to the causes of juvenile delinquency, including one’s economic background, substance abuse, delinquent peer groups, repeated exposure to violence, increased availability of firearms and media violence. However, I feel that the number one cause of juvenile delinquency is the breakdown of families, including lack of parental control over children. It is ironic in America, today, one must have a driver’s license to operate a vehicle, a permit to own a gun and even a license to own a dog, but one does not have to have training or a license in order to become a parent. Without specialized educational programs in child development and parenting, many of our future parents will not have a chance at becoming successful parents and many parents today are already contributing to the ever-increasing problem of juvenile delinquency simply by not knowing how to be parents. Being a parent is a lifelong commitment and new parents must learn parenting skills immediately. they do not have the luxury of internships some mistakes in parenting will have drastic effects on the child.

There are many reasons for the widespread crisis in families today. Changes in the Social Environment, there have been many changes in our social environment over the last twenty-five years. These changes have made a risky environment for today’s youth. Juvenile delinquency incorporates not only general criminal activity but conduct that is only unlawful for youths such as running away from home and skipping school. Current research into this difficult and pressing issue reflects a vast range of theories about, and predictors of delinquency as well as several strategies to control and reduce overall delinquency.

The consensus among practitioners and researchers however maintains that juvenile delinquency is a dynamic, multifaceted problem with numerous potentially causal factors. Investigators and professionals suggest that treatment procedures must focus on not only the immediate issue of the offender’s deviant behavior but on every element within the context of that behavior as well, including family relations and social support services. Conventional practice has been associated with early preventive measures with positive delinquency reduction results. In particular at-risk youth and correction of minimally effective parenting techniques are critical to the prevention of future delinquency (Lundman, 1993). Numerous risk factors have been identified as indicators or predictors of juvenile delinquency and those factors represent dysfunction at several levels, specifically within the structure of the offender’s family.

Statistics on violent juvenile crime

Reasons for Juvenile Crime One of the biggest problems, which the United States is faced with, is juvenile crime. The reason experts feel juvenile’s commit crimes is because of risk factors when they were younger but experts still have not found the main reason why juvenile’s commit crimes. Some risk factors associated with juvenile crime are poverty, repeated exposure to violence, drugs, easy access to firearms, unstable family life and family violence, delinquent peer groups, and media violence. Especially the demise of family life, the effect of the media on the juveniles today, and the increase of firearms available today have played a big role in the increase of juveniles crimes. The most common risk factor is the demise of the family life and the increase in family violence. Between 1976 and 1992 the number of juveniles living in poverty grew 42% and this caused an increase in crimes by juveniles. Many of these juvenile criminals have been abused or neglected and they also grew up in a single-parent household. Research has found that 53% of these children are more likely to be arrested, and 38% more likely to commit a violent crime as an adult, then their counterparts who did not suffer such abuse.

The symptoms of child abuse are “high levels of aggression and antisocial behavior” and these children are twice as likely to become juvenile offenders. Also improper parental care has been linked to delinquency such as mothers who drink alcohol or take drugs during pregnancy cause their babies to grow up with learning disorders, a problem which leads them to be juvenile criminals. Another risk factor is the effect of the media on the juveniles of today. Before the time a child has reached seventh grade, the average child has witnessed 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence on the television. There is no doubt that heavy exposure to televised violence is one of the causes of aggressive behavior, crime and violence in society. Television violence affects youngsters of all ages, of both genders, at all economic levels, and all levels of intelligence. Long-term childhood exposure to television is a casual factor behind one half of the homicides committed by juveniles in the United States.

Television violence affects youngsters of all ages, of both genders, at all economic levels, and all levels of intelligence. Long-term childhood exposure to television is a casual factor behind one half of the homicides committed by juveniles in the United States. The increased availability of guns has played a big part in escalating the number of crimes committed by juveniles. In Los Angeles juvenile delinquency cases involving weapon violation grew by 86% from 1988 to 1992, which was more then any other type of juvenile offense. According to a University of Michigan study found that 270,000 guns accompany secondary school students to class daily. This is startling because it shows how many more juveniles are carrying guns and the juvenile use of guns in homicides has increased from 65 to 80 percent from 1987 to 1991.

The possession of firearms plays a big cause in the delinquency of children and is playing a bigger role in the crimes which juveniles commit. Another cause of the increase of juvenile crimes has been the effect of children seeing multiple murders and other acts of violence on the television. Finally the demise of the family life and the increase in family violence has been the biggest factor in the increase of juvenile crime. Most of the youth who commit violent crimes or re offend do not have a strong family bond. This is what makes it easy for this particular youths to find that family life in gangs, and criminal circles. There needs to be more programs focused on rehabilitating the family and not just the child. There are many programs to assist in the efforts to help the family. Programs like Parent-Child Integration Training Program, recreation, and something a simple as therapy for the child as well as the parents.

Issues surrounding violent juvenile crime

The surge in youth crime and violence caused major problems society. Various groups public and private undertook the mission of trying to uncover the reasons juvenile crime was on the rise. Lawmakers responded by toughening existing laws and finding ways to try more juveniles as adults. Courts gave out stricter sentences, and parents and educators looked into various programs and methods geared to help their children and students deal with the situation.

BALA, N. (2008). An historical perspective on family violence and child abuse: Allegations of Family Violence, 12 June 2007. Journal of Family Studies, 14(2/3), 271-278. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database

J J Wilson; J C Howell (1993). COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGY FOR SERIOUS, VIOLENT, AND CHRONIC JUVENILE OFFENDERS. Retrieved from US Dept of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention United States

Turney, K., & Harknett, K. (2010). Neighborhood Disadvantage, Residential Stability, and Perceptions of Instrumental Support Among New Mothers. Journal of Family Issues, 31(4), 499-524. Retrieved from SocINDEX with Full Text database.

R Lundman (1993).Prevention and Control of Juvenile Delinquency Juvenile delinquency – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia retrieved(n.d.)