Juveniles and Delinquency Youths Are Term Paper

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Based on statistics, nearly one million eighth graders admit getting drunk and another 1.2 million twelfth graders are considered binge drinkers. Heroin use by young adults has doubled from 1991 to 1996 and even teenage compulsive gambling is on the rise (http://www.einstein.edu/e3front.dll?durki=8576,2004).

Youth Gangs and Violence - The Starting Point

It should be noted that violence started from the family affecting the whole society. What an individual has for a family, what can be seen in the society, what is seen in the environment are all clear reflections of the kind of people a certain society is bringing up - whether it is a deviance to the society or not.

Now, pertaining to the crimes and how the government solved it, it must be remembered that the laws are already there, it is already being maintained by the concerned officials and followed the U.S. citizen. But there are still some other aspects that are still need to be considered such as the factors directly affecting these violent behaviors, the preventive measures that the society can do and the things that should be bear in mind if juvenile delinquency persists.

First, why do most youths are becoming more involved in various gangs or groups? A recent survey revealed that most youths find gangs as (http://ww2.psepc-sppcc.gc.ca/publications/policing/199456_e.asp,2005):

highly organized definite leadership structure systematic involvement in violence crime for profit is a major activity

So from this standpoint alone, it can be easily reflected upon that the sense of belonging is one of the major reasons why youths started joining gangs and/or groups. Right after becoming a member, certain activities done by the gang will now be done also by the newly appointed members - may it be a bad activity or an illegal one, the new members will be "forced" to doing those activities because they would always want to pride themselves that they are indeed part of that group and that they can do what the other gang members do. And so the cycle continues.

According to the statistics given by the FBI, there are actually three types of crimes being committed. First, crimes against the person - or violent crimes - are defined as crimes against people that involve violence or the threat of violence. Examples are murder, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. Secondly, crimes against property - or property crimes - are defined as crimes that involve theft of property belonging to others. Examples are burglary, larceny-theft, auto theft, and arson. A third category, victimless crimes, is defined, as violations of law in which there are no readily apparent victims. Examples are gambling, prostitution, and the use of illegal drugs (http://www.geocities.com/tdeddins/deviance.htm,2004).

Based on the relevant data that presented above, most youth gangs do violent actions. They do it either for "survival" purposes or for a very lame excuse of priding themselves capable of doing deviant acts. Yes, there are numbers of laws and regulations preventing youths from involving themselves to such kinds of gangs, but those who are members already find it hard to separate themselves form the gangs they have already joined with because they did various activities in the past that made them "stick" to the gangs. They fought real hard to be with the gang and they cannot just throw that away.

Sex Offenders as Part of Juvenile Delinquency

In today's world, male and female juvenile sex offenders are becoming a real problem and a big threat to most of our youths today. Research studies show that between 25-40% of all alleged sexual abuse involves young perpetrators. Moreover, the majority of those who display sexually harmful behavior are adolescent males. Young children and females also commit sexually harmful acts. Sexual behavior as displayed by children and young people exists on a continuum from mutually agreed experimentation through to harmful, abusive exploitation. The majority of these children and young people have been or are being sexually, physically and/or emotionally abused themselves (http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/JuvenileSexOffenders.html,2005).

In Canada alone, several studies (done by government and non-government organizations) revealed that two of the most common factors why there have been female and male juvenile sex offenders are (Correctional Service Canada. (1991):

unstable job and/or income family and/or marital problems past histories and sexual abuse

Indeed, juvenile sex offenders are the product of psychological and emotional problems by the offenders themselves. There may have been several problems in the offenders' minds and that they find their victims as their "outlet" to ease out their problems. These problems may come from their lack of financial support which prompted them to do something bad instead. Family and marital problems may also cause one person to act impulsively thereby affecting the innocent victims. Histories of personal sexual abuse can also trigger the mind of the offenders for this may be the reason why they would want to inflict pain to others also, or because of the trauma they have experienced before resulted to an "addiction" to sex.

Treatment of male and female juvenile sex offenders takes a lot of time and effort, both from the side of the family and from the offender him/herself. Many treatment programs have all three objectives; all these typically avoid direct reduction of deviant sexual arousal except by means of thought stoppage or appropriate fantasy substitution. Researchers found that sex offenders who receive treatment that included direct methods to reduce deviant arousal were less likely to re-offend than a group of men whose otherwise similar treatment lacked such a component. Moreover, there are some evidence that show that such a component needs to be introduced at or near the beginning of a treatment program, otherwise sexual aggressors tend to harbor deviant fantasies throughout the later stages of therapy and are more likely to drop out prematurely (http://www.northwestmedia.com/vs./report.html,2005).

All conditioning methods used with sex offenders rely on scripts, audiotapes, or free fantasy to induce deviant arousal, that is, arousal to an illicit sex act. At some point in the procedure, either an aversive stimulus is introduced or the crime scenario (e.g., rape, child molestation, exposing) begins to take on an aversive quality through repetition. Virtually all aversive procedures require dozens, if not hundreds, of trials over a minimum period of 10 days to 12 weeks (http://www.northwestmedia.com/vs./report.html,2005).

Death Penalty and/or vs. The Juvenile Delinquents

According to the statistics given by the FBI, there are actually three types of crimes being committed. First, crimes against the person - or violent crimes - are defined as crimes against people that involve violence or the threat of violence. Examples are murder, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. Secondly, crimes against property - or property crimes - are defined as crimes that involve theft of property belonging to others. Examples are burglary, larceny-theft, auto theft, and arson. A third category, victimless crimes, is defined, as violations of law in which there are no readily apparent victims. Examples are gambling, prostitution, and the use of illegal drugs (http://www.geocities.com/tdeddins/deviance.htm,2004).

Such classification of crimes is form of deviant behaviors that adults, teenagers and even youngsters do. In February 1963, Gary McCorkell, a 19-year-old sex offender, was scheduled to be hanged. But just days before his execution, the then Liberal cabinet of Lester Person commuted McCorkell to life in prison. Less than 20 years later, McCorkell was arrested, tried, and convicted for the kidnapping and rape of a 10-year-old Tennessee boy. He was sentenced to 63 years in prison. Prior to leaving Canada, he was sought by Metro Police in the attempted murder of an 11-year-old boy. What this has gained? Had McCorkell been executed in 1963, two boys would never have had to go through the horror of being sexually abused. These individuals may themselves become sex offenders, as many sex offenders were sexually abused as children. (http://www.*****/essays/legal/870.shtml,1998).

Such is an example of juvenile delinquent related cases where death penalty could have been a lot useful. In 2004, an argument regarding death penalty and adolescents have been raised. The U.S. Supreme court has implied that the death penalty for teenage murderers should be minimized because this is considered as a "cruel and unusual punishment." The court has further implied that moving down the verdict of capital punishment is just because society has reached a consensus that adolescents are less culpable for their actions than adults (Savage, 2004).

Going back in 1998, the court had already struck down the death penalty for crimes committed before an offender reached the age of 16. A year later the court decided to decline the extension of not putting the 6 and 17-year-old murderers into the death penalty sentence.

This was lifted on the grounds that there was no consensus if it was really immoral to execute people for crimes committed as older teenagers (Savage, 2004). (However, it should also be noted that as early as 1989, the number of states that were allowing and carrying out the juvenile death penalty has been continuously descending. Eventually, all other countries except Somalia have formally rejected the punishment for juveniles Savage, 2004). Hence…[continue]

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