Still one of the most pressing matters dealt in the society today is juvenile delinquency. Juvenile delinquency is referred to as the criminal acts which were done by juveniles or young people (Siegel, 2003). In different areas and different systems, there are specific measures employed to address and take action on these specific acts. There are prescribed methods like juvenile detention centers in whch they attend to and respond to these young people who committed such criminal acts.
But what are the causes of juvenile acts? What essentially is youth crime?Youth CrimeIn recent years, youth crime has gained the attention of not just the media but politicians as well. This is for the fact that criminal acts committed by young people have increased drastically over the years (Mulvey, 1993).Youth crime could be defined as an antisocial behavior which is beyond to that extent of parental control and which then subjected to legal matters (Brown, 1998).
Youth crime could also be viewed as a criminal act done by a minor or a juvenile with the exemption to the punishment of death or even to that of life sentence.Youth crime could an indicating factor of the state of morality prevalent in a country or in a specific location. The different types and levels of youth crime could be a reflector of the type of law and order that could be found in a specific location or even a country.The study of youth crime and the different factors and theories concerned in this topic would be of great importance especially since the perpetrators of these acts are actually agedYouth Crime 2between fifteen up to twenty five. It could also be a warning seeing as adult criminals could have just evolved from juvenile delinquents themselves.Theories on Youth CrimeThere are various theories that are trying to explain the causes of youth crime: what forces or influences a young individual to result to such acts. The rational choice theory focuses on the individual’s free will and as well as his/her personal responsibility. The rational theory states that people weigh up the pros and cons of committing a crime, and offend when the former outweigh the latter (Farrington, 2002).
Although this story focuses on the individual behavior, there are still distinguishable deficiencies that could be seen.The theory does not clearly expound on why the individual would want to choose to commit the crime. Another is that the rational theory does not provide a comparison in other areas concerned such as the difference between the propensities of an individual and a group of people to commit crime.
Also when taking an individual’s behavior in relation to crime, his or her self control as well as conscience should be taken into account. These factors are often influenced by societal conditions as well as parental control.Another deficiency that could be distinguished is that this theory does not clearly draw the line between why young people decide to commit crime apart from other people. It also does not take into account that an individual’s behavior could just be the product of the circumstances and situations prevalent in his surroundings.Apart from the rational choice theory another theory proposes to explain the criminal tendencies of a young individual. In this theory, the individual’s cultural as well as his/her socio-Youth Crime 3economic environment in which he/she might have been exposed to are also taken into account.
The situations in the environment and the degree and way in which the individual is exposed to are given attention. The social organization theory tries to relate the societal conditions to a person’s tendency to commit crime.For the strain theory on the other hand, it focused on the aspect of poverty in relation to an individual’s propensity to commit crime. This theory tries to explain that for example an individual has a poor educational attainment, trying to get the wealth as well as the authority legitimately for his case is very difficult thus the individual results to criminal means in order for him/her to achieve such things.The limitation to this theory is that even though young people may come from low-income families it could not necessarily be directly linked to having poor educational attainment. Also, there are instances where young people in different income families have also committed crimes. It could also be argued that most of the youth crimes at present are just not motivated or concerned with economic means.
This theory was unsuccessful in trying to explain why young individuals result to violent crimes which have been of great concern to the society nowadays.Apart from the economic aspect of an individual’s propensity to commit crime, other theories try to explain a youth’s tendency to result to criminal acts by taking a look at culture. The subculture theory proposes that when a young individual has failed to gain a socially valued status, he or she has the tendency to result to deviant or delinquent behaviors. This could be due to the fact that an individual may not uphold the same values which are socially acceptable for the environment he is in.
One drawback is that there is no clear line as to how young individuals are provoked differently from that of adult criminals.Youth Crime 4Two other theories seek to explain a young individual’s propensity to commit crime. The differential association theory tackles young individuals in relation to their peer groups.
This theory focuses on the pressure at times implies or imposed upon by peer groups which could force a young person to commit crime. If a young person would be exposed with a group associated in committing crimes, there is a high tendency for that young person to commit crimes as well.The other theory, label theory, states that if a young individual would be dubbed as criminal he would likely tend to develop a propensity in committing crimes.
There are various theories which try to explain youth’s propensity to commit crimes. More importantly apart from one’s behavior, we could see that the societal conditions in which a young individual is exposed to also play a vital part in influencing one young individual.“Male” youth crimeMajority of the youth crimes committed are said to be done by young males. There are various suggestions as to why males have the tendency to commit crimes compared to that of females (Eadie & Morley, 2003). For one, the idea of masculinity contributes essentially to this phenomenon. In most societies, one’s masculinity is greatly associated with being powerful, aggressive and even tough.
Being competitive as well as being daring also comes with being masculine. In the even that young men are trying to display and show off these qualities, there is also the propensity for committing crimes. Apart from the concept of masculinity, how others view and treat them may just also be a contributing factor as to how they behave.Youth Crime 5Felony deterrenceThe prevention of youth felony is a very pressing matter as well as a very broad topic to discuss.
There are many aspects to be taken into account when trying to lessen and even avoid youth crime. There is the question regarding to that of youth welfare as well as the punishments to be employed to those who have committed such felony. Different institutions such as the government and other concerned agencies are exerting their efforts in developing programs which could help young people from committing criminal acts.The question of veering young people away from criminal acts arises with the idea of welfare and punishment for them (Eadie, 2003).Welfare mainly deals with good fortune as well a person’s well being while punishment is penalty or a form of retribution for something illegally done or is not morally acceptable.
In dealing with crime, these two areas have as much argument in each of their cases.Advocating for the welfare of a young individual has always been the thrust of various concerned institutions if not the government itself. There is a strong argument that if the child or the youth’s welfare particularly his well-being and other various concerns related to it is pushed for there is a chance that a youth’s tendency for committing crime could be controlled if not eliminated.Welfare is concerned in trying to employ the rights prearranged for young people. It deals with trying to provide with them as much as the essential things they need in order for them to develop a positive perspective making them less susceptible in having the propensity to commit crime. Welfare is more on trying to nurture and develop the child’s attitude and behavior into a positive and more acceptable one.Youth Crime 6Yet the question of trying to draw the line between wrong acts comes in. In this case, it is punishment.
Although in youth crime, there is the tendency to look into the perpetrator and the root causes rather than such acts, it is also essential to question the punishment concerned in youth crime.As much sensitive as it is to put young people into penalties and other types of punishments, there are arguments which tries to put the light on the crimes actually committed by these young people and what they are capable of. It could not be denied that as young as the perpetrators are, the felony or crime they committed is just as grave.
In taking justice into the picture, there is the question of even as young as the responsible one is, if the crime is just as grave, it could not be denied that a certain form of punishment must be employed to address such act.The question of how to punish young people comes in. In some areas, there are corresponding punishments for young people who commit criminal acts. In any case, the punishments for young people are always subjected to scrutiny for its delicate nature and the people involved in the case.The nature of punishment for young people is always in question for the different factors that come into play especially in a young individual’s propensity for committing crimes. Youth crime in perspectiveConsidering the different theories that try to explain a young individual’s propensity for committing crime, we could clearly see that behavior and attitude are not the only contributingYouth Crime 7factors.
There are actually more theories that focused on the young person’s exposure to his/her external environment in relation for their tendencies to commit crime.The culture, socio-economic environment as well the peer group and even the society’s views of the individual could play a big part in one’s tendencies for delinquency as well as deviant behavior. There are also other risk factors that contribute to one’s tendency for committing illegal acts. These are an individual’s intelligence, responsiveness and even the level of parental control and discipline on the child.A young individual’s family could also have a big influence when it comes to a person’s behavior.
In talking about youth crime, it is essential to see and observe the different factors that come with young people’s propensity for committing crime. In a crucial stage such as being a youth, apart from their own personal choice, societal conditions have a big impact towards their behavior and emotions.