Juvenile Delinquency

Question

Write a paper of approximately 500 words describing how crime statistics can aid criminal justice practitioners in assisting juveniles and preventing them from committing crime. Review a case from the textbook or one that is current in the news, and research if children committing crimes is on the rise. How can you prevent future juvenile crimes in your state?

Answer

Juvenile Delinquency

Juvenile Delinquency is the involvement in illegal behavior by people who fall below the specified majority age, which in most cases is set at 17 or 18. These offenders are subjected to a specific kind of courts and detention facilities to promote their reform and rehabilitation. In recent years, there has been a general increase in juvenile delinquency (Brown, 2005). This paper describes how crime statistics aid criminal justice practitioners to work towards reducing this rising crime rate. In this analysis, there is a particular concentration in juvenile crime patterns and practical solutions.

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Crime Statistics are normally collected and compiled from law enforcement data and victim surveys. In most cases, law enforcement data is reliable and provides a clear representation of the rate and patterns of crime. On the other hand, victim surveys tend to be subjective and rely on memory and perception. In most countries, crime statistics have not received attention and resources they deserve. Meanwhile, in recent years, America has endeavored to collect more crime data through the Uniform Crime Reports prepared by the FBI and the National Crime Victimization Survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (Clayton, 2008). Even so, juvenile delinquency statistics remains limited for different crimes and demographics.

Moreover, the statistics are extremely important at a time like now when sociological analysis has become a critical part of the justice system. Patterns in juvenile crime reveal that crime steadily increased until the 1990s, after which it stagnated before resuming the rising streak in recent years. In addition, there is a strong link between race to crime. Most minority and marginalized races are associated with high crime and offense rate.

Criminal justice practitioners can use crime statistics to reduce the rate of juvenile crime. Using the statistics, they can develop sociological explanations and propose solutions for crime prevention. This approach can then be used to reshape and improve the justice system and the external or societal factors. These strategies have a focus of designing rehabilitative and community programs that seek to reform the offenders as opposed to extreme punishment. It is important to solve these problems at grassroots level and to eliminate the economic and social constraints that offset crime (Zimring, 2005). The practitioners can use statistics as a scale against which the police and law enforcement agencies can measure their effectiveness. In this way, the practitioners can easily strengthen their policies while maintaining the required ethical standards.

In one recent case, Tristin Kurilla, a ten year-old boy from Wayne County, was initially charged as an adult for homicide. He killed Helen Novak who lived with his grandmother during a fit of rage during which he choked her with a cane. As stipulated in law, the boy was charged and detained as an adult before the court ruled to have him removed from prison confinement and to handle his case as that involving a juvenile. Tristin demonstrated great remorse to the judges who ruled that he should be under supervision until he reaches 21.

Kurilla’s case is representative of a trend whereby the number of juvenile crimes such as homicide has been on the rise in recent years (Clayton, 2008). This has raised concerns regardingthe mental and sociological health problems affecting children and how they possibly lead to such crimes. In future, juvenile crimes can be prevented through a combination or social and policy strategies. The law enforcement and justice system must be centered on reform and community participation.

At the most basic level, the education and family units should take responsibility of bringing up and monitoring children to reduce juvenile delinquency. Harsh family settings and abusive learning environments have been known to contribute to rebellion and child crime. Furthermore, sociological patterns are openly affected by media and cultural factors now more than ever following exposure. Reform and rehabilitation must integrate the entire community for maximum results and benefits in reducing juvenile crime.

References

Brown, S. (2005). Undestanding Youth and Crime: Listening to Youth? Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Clayton, H. (2008). Youth, Crime and Justice: A Global Inquiry. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Zimring, F. (2005). American Juvenile Justice. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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