Juvenile Delinquency and Why They Commit Crimes Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Juvenile delinquency: Why they happen and the possible remedies.

Juvenile delinquency has been a dominant debate in various spheres and for a long time and this debate do not seem to disappear any time soon. There have been various attempts to explain the concept and sense behind juvenile delinquency but little has been of corrective measure to this problem within the society. Despite there being various theories behind the juvenile delinquency, there are two explanations that come close to the real explanation.

The biological theory holds that delinquency is facilitated by brain dysfunction accompanied by impairment in learning. This brain dysfunction is related to the violent and aggressive behaviors, limited impulse control, and destructiveness as well as limited social adaptation. This theory portends that the brain dysfunction is linked to the ability to learn as well as presence of dyslexia, hyperactivity and aphasia which consequently turns one to deviant behavior, poor achievement in education and rejection (Joseph A.W., 2013). This approach is persuasive but fails to capture the realities of the practical and observable trends within the average daily society suffering delinquency as it needs one to be able to decipher the brain dysfunction.

The second plausible explanation as to why there is delinquency among juveniles is the social learning theory which was propounded by Albert Bandura that looks at the environment and how this affects the behaviors of the individual within that society. Within this theory, it is depicted that there are given socially and culturally acceptable ways of behavior that the society members follow and teach the young ones as the acceptable ways hence they grow up knowing these are the right ways (Boeree G., 2006). Apparently, there is a possibility of a child following the deviant ways that he sees around him as he grows up as well. This is the theory or approach that forms the foundation of this paper. The social units that exist within the society help shape the behavior of the juveniles right from a tender age. What they learn is what they end up displaying in their behaviors, and this is what is found in the greater portion of the society with the family being the basic unit of the society that a person or a juvenile is closest to and associates with in most of the cases.

Family as a source of delinquency

Families are the foundation of the human society hence a strong and stable foundation often results in stable and straight forward children. Therefore, those children who are rejected by their parents or who grow up in the homes full of conflicts are said to be at the greatest risk of becoming delinquent. Understanding how family and juvenile works is the core of understanding delinquency and if anything plays a large part in delinquency, this would be a family (Elliott, 2001). The paper will answer certain questions concerning gender and family how these two relate to delinquency among children.

Once children feel oppressed or predisposed to potential danger, anger, aggression or projection of frustrations by the elderly, they often resort to their own way of either projecting that burden to other places or showing rebellion and resistance to that burden (Paton G, 2008). Unfortunately, of late the issue of joining gangs has become predominant with several young children finding themselves in juvenile gangs that gradually graduate to fully fledged gangs.

Family culture and juvenile delinquency

Today, the majority of children do not only view their parents as caregivers, but also as people to emulate. The children of the criminals or families that do not have high standards of moral standing are likely to fall into delinquency than children from average families. Since children learn from emulation and mentorship, if the mentorship is wanting then the children are likely to replicate what they see in their daily life from the mentors who often happen to be the parents and the close guardians within the family (News Medical, 2006).

Family make-up and delinquency

The family structure has a bearing on the behavior of the children including the possibility of them joining gangs since in most cases the children look at the ideal and balanced family as one with two parents. Such is a family that the duty of instilling morals and positive values is shared between the two parents and not left to the single parent, as this could be cumbersome on the single parent. For a close supervision, correction, disciplining and mentorship, two parents are needed. Apparently children from well balanced families in terms of presence and consistency of both parents have lesser chances of seeing the children turn to delinquents as compared to the single parent families. Paton G (2008) further says on this that "The lack of positive role models, the absence of a father in the home combined with too much freedom were seen to result in groups of young people with no respect for their elders."

Research also shows that, most children who come from families with backgrounds of frequent abuse (be it physical, sexual or verbal) are more likely to become delinquents than those children who come from a family where there are no abuses.

Family behavior influence delinquency

There are four categories of family behavior that can promote delinquent behaviors. These include families that are disrupted due to breakup or conflict, interpersonal conflict in families as well as negligent parents who are not attuned to the behavior of their children and emotional problems as well as families that have parents who might pass on their behaviors to their children. Children view their parents as people they emulate and hence they tend to emulate criminal behavior from their parents. Apart from the emulation factor, they also have some level of expectations in terms of the care and emotional guidance and perpetual counseling. When the parents are aloof from the needs of their children and do not care how the children behave, they are prone to joining gangs so as to get the needed guidance on how to handle life. Children from families with rampant abuse backgrounds for instance sexual abuse tend to end up in gangs where they can project the frustration through violence against other children (Wadsworth, 2005).

Marital conflicts and juvenile gangs

This is yet another rampant cause of young children joining gangs or becoming delinquent in various ways. Persistent unstable and destructive marital conflicts are not the socially healthy settings to bring up a young child since it predisposes them to being delinquent. It is indicated by news Medical (2006) that such conflict does act as a catalyst to the erosion of the bridge between the couple and most importantly between the child and parents. This then makes the children to lack confidence in their parents and the potential solutions they may offer since they cannot resolve their own problems amicably. Children then become hesitant to progress or if they do, they are bound to progress in an irregular manner. They are unable to find the right footing within their own selves and as well with their peers. They lack identity at this point and will keep looking for identity wherever and whenever they can get it. This leaves them predisposed to any kind of manipulation in the desperate search for an attachment and 'solutions' which may seem forthcoming from gangs. This has been one of the major reasons why young children get into gang life at a tender age.

The family is a central unit in the shaping and determining the future of children. It is the best and the only trusted units within the society that can effectively help socialize the child into the society at large. With stable families, we shall have well shaped children who feel adequate and hence will not have to resort to gang life or any other delinquent groupings in a bid to get identity.

Remedy to the juvenile delinquency

The juvenile delinquents are a challenge that the nation at large has and there is a continued need to delicately handle them so that they do not turn out to be hardcore criminals but reform and lead positive lives in the future. In case of an offence, a juvenile will be introduced into the system when an offence committed by a juvenile is reported by the parents, police, and citizen or agency complaint.

In order to correct the behavior and lower the incidences of recidivism or even escalation to further crimes, the residential community corrections facilities (RCCF) are now a common idea in the U.S.A. And they are directed at helping curb the rise in crime but at the same time decongesting the prisons as well as rehabilitation the deviants within the society. These are facilities that are based within the community where the offenders remain within the confines of the institution but have access to the treatment that they would otherwise not have access to in prison. There are various RCCFs that are found in the U.S. today all with varied people that they…

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