Types of juvenile delinquency Juvenile delinquency, or offending, can be separated into three categories: delinquency, crimes committed by minors which are dealt with by the juvenile courts and justice system; criminal behavior, crimes dealt with by the criminal justice system, and status offenses, offenses which are only classified as such because one is a minor, such as truancy, also dealt with by the juvenile courts. According to the developmental research of Moffitt (2006), there are two different types of offenders that emerge in adolescence. One is the repeat offender, referred to as the life-course-persistent offender, who begins offending or showing antisocial/aggressive behavior in adolescence (or even childhood) and continues into adulthood; and the age specific offender, referred to as the adolescence-limited offender, for whom juvenile offending or delinquency begins and ends during their period of adolescence. Because most teenagers tend to show some form of antisocial, aggressive or delinquent behavior during adolescence, it important to account for these behaviors in childhood, in order to determine whether they will be life-course-persistent offenders, or adolescents-limited offenders. Although adolescent-limited offenders tend to drop all criminal activity once they enter adulthood, and show less pathology than life-course-persistent offenders, they still show more mental health, substance abuse, and finance problems, both in adolescence and adulthood,
Currently, offenders are committing violent crimes within developed countries at younger ages than ever before. Statistical data collected from various regions indicate that juvenile delinquency is largely associated with the involvement of organized groups or gangs, resulting in three quarters of all offenses being carried out by members. Although unemployment and poverty are not the causes of violence themselves, they are immense elements that can contribute to criminal activity amongst minors. Lack of opportunity, inequality, and the accessibility to drugs and or weapons along with many other factors can often trigger acts of delinquency, and while adolescence may be accepted as the phase in ones life that misbehavior and resistance is to be expected, evidence has shown that a majority of first-time offenders do not re-offend with the proper means and guidance provided to rectify the issue. However, incarceration is still regularly enforced when dealing with the cases of minors, even for what can be labeled trivial offenses such as drug use or theft.
Numerous studies have shown that domestic violence has a huge impact on children and teenagers and can lead to internal and external behavioral problems. These can include aggression, anxiety and depression. When children are exposed to violence or abuse, it affects them tremendously when they become teenagers. Adolescence is a time when a person is figuring out who they are and their self-esteem will develop either confidently or not so confidently. When abuse has been in the picture, it is very difficult for an adolescence to develop to their full potential and delinquency can occur.
These children go through very different experiences than their peers outside jail walls, face many challenges during their time in jail, and have difficulty adapting upon release. Placing children and teenagers in jail results in negative effects rather than rehabilitation. The juvenile justice system in America is complex and varies from state to state, but the overarching purpose is to rehabilitate youth offenders. It processes nearly 1.7 million cases a year and overall handles most of them the same way (“Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System”). When those under age go to trial, their sentence often is decided by how likely they are to be rehabilitated and learn from their mistakes (“Juvenile justice”).
Because of their impressionable nature, teens are more likely to become addicted to harmful substances. Most teenagers live in a toxic environment and they’re exposed to the idea of doing substances by their surroundings. Teenagers follow in the footsteps of their parents because of their genetics (Buddy T). One of the reasons teenagers get into bad habits such as drug addiction and alcoholism is due to child neglect. A parent being absent from a child’s life could easily be a sign of neglect.
Overall, sometimes juvenile crimes are caused by mental illness. “Estimates reveal that approximately 50 to 75 percent of the 2 million youth encountering the juvenile justice system meet criteria for a mental health disorder. Approximately 40 to 80 percent of incarcerated juveniles have at least one diagnosable mental health disorder” (MDPI). In murder cases, the judges do not take into consideration that maybe the teen killers have a mental problem so they send them to prison instead of a mental institution. A mental illness can make the person commit acts they are not aware of or just have no control over.
It is also a psychological problem for there is a link between how teenagers brain works and how that results in their act in daily basis. Every country has its own unique laws regarding Juvenile delinquencies, they also have different statutory age for delinquency. Persons above this statutory age are considered as criminals and is charged with the usual laws.While persons below this statutory age are called delinquents. According to Coleman (1981) delinquency is behaviour of youths under 18 years of age which is not acceptable to society and is generally regarded as calling for some kind of admonishment punishment or corrective actions. Delinquency shows a variety forms of behavior.
The article states that part of the decline is because of greater public mindfulness, stepped-up avoidance attempts, and enhanced training as well as education. The decline in the rate of child abuse is not just because of the efforts of a single department or organization, but many organizations, systems worked together to achieve this progress in preventing child ill-treatment. Abuse can be of any sort such as physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse, cultural violence or verbal abuse, etc. However, most common are bodily and sexual abuses. Physical abuse means any intentional action taken to cause injury, trauma, bodily harm or suffering.
Understanding the risk and protective factors of child delinquency is imperative in order to create and implement treatment and intervention programs. Because children’s behavior develops during the first five years, it is important to know what risk and protective factors could increase the likelihood of a child becoming a child offender (Wasserman et al., 2003). Moreover, overcoming the risk factors would help prevent the child offender from becoming a juvenile, and later, adult offender. As Wasserman et al (2003) stated, “risk factors for child delinquency operate in several domains: the individual child, the child’s family, the child’s peer group, the child’s school, the child’s neighborhood, and the media” (pg.1). As one can see, children are exposed to risk in partially every aspect of their lives.
In new era juvenile delinquency is becoming a global problem. As per Schwartz and Johnson, the term delinquency is used for the juvenile (usually under the age of 18) who has committed an act that would be considered illegal for an adult. They have classified the adults into five groups according to the type of offence. The offences are- 1) Minor violations (including disorderly conduct and minor traffic violations) 2) Major traffic violations (including automobile theft) 3) Property violations 4) Addiction (including alcoholism and drug addiction) 5) Bodily harm (including homicide and rape) As per Ryane and Redding, juvenile delinquents showed more depression . According to Barringa etal, “delinquents showed more cognitive distortion and problem behaviour than non-delinquent with the key characteristics of depression including difficulty in concentrating, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness, and at its extreme, suicidal thoughts and tendencies” .