Juvenile Delinquency Essay

4483 Words18 Pages
Juvenile delinquency, also known as juvenile offending, or youth crime, is participation in illegal behaviour by minors (juveniles) who fall under a statutory age limit. [1] Most legal systems prescribe specific procedures for dealing with juveniles, such as juvenile detention centres, and courts. A juvenile delinquent is a person who is typically under the age of 18 and commits an act that otherwise would have been charged as a crime if they were an adult. Although persons under 18 can also be charged and tried as adults, depending on the type of offense committed. In recent years, the average age for first arrest has dropped significantly, and younger boys and girls are committing these crimes. Between 60-80% of adolescents, and pre-adolescents engage in some form of juvenile offending [2].These can range from status offenses (such as underage smoking), to property crimes, to violent crimes. The percent of teens who offend is so high that it would seem to be a cause for worry. However, juvenile offending can be considered normative adolescent behaviour [3]. This is because most teens tend to offend by committing non-violent crimes, only once or a few times, and only during adolescence. It is when adolescents offend repeatedly or violently that their offending is likely to continue beyond adolescence, and become increasingly violent. It is also likely that if this is the case, they began offending, and displaying antisocial behaviour, even before reaching adolescence[4]. Contents [hide] 1 The development of juvenile delinquency 2 Types of juvenile delinquency 2.1 Sex differences 2.2 Racial differences 3 Risk factors 3.1 Individual risk factors 3.2 Family environment and peer influence 4 Crime Theories Applicable to Juvenile Delinquency 4.1 Rational choice 4.2 Social disorganization 4.3 Strain 4.4 Differential association 4.5 Labeling 4.6 Social
Open Document