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Juvenile Crime Essay, Research Paper

The essay is writen using the (Kolb and fry model)

Thesis Statement

Concrete Experience

Many different types of projects in different countries have reduced levels of delinquency and violence by tackling the causes – to the extent to which crime is reduced through many different types and forms of crime prevention projects including: designing out crime; promoting social control; supporting young persons and families; breaking the cycle of violence against women and children; and promoting individual responsibility, as well as various types of incarceration programs like camps, ranches and various other juvenile prisons. In this report I will be presenting some of the results from crime prevention partnerships that are based on city action, on police and justice cooperation with other agencies, and other community based programs.

Delinquency, vandalism and violent crimes cause considerable harm and are expensive to communities. A recent report for the US Congress by a university group noted how few scientific evaluations exist on traditional policing and incarceration programs. Where they exist, they do not usually show positive results.

Some persons commit crime despite their life situation; for others, it is the reverse, but multiple factors generate crime. Individuals are less likely to offend repetitively when their early childhood is dominated by consistent and caring parenting and troublesome behavior when found school, is met with solutions.

Crime tends to be lower in countries where there are more social benefits and fewer children in relative poverty; Crime tends to be higher because of opportunities such as those created by persons being away from their residences, having desirable objects that others do not

such as; cars, televisions and computers

Specific programs

Residential burglary can be reduced by 35-75% by improved surveillance and neighborhood watch groups, and by improving the physical design of buildings. Delinquency in public areas, such as assaults, vandalism and fare dodging can be reduced by 17-68% by improved social control from civilian guards – recruited from the unemployed – and by closed circuit television.

Young children will grow up to offend less by 50-80% if provided with adequate pre-school programs and by in home nurse visitations for at-risk children. The young and disadvantaged are 33-71% less likely to be arrested if they are given incentives to complete school, or structured training programs for job skill development. Promoting responsibility can reduce crime between 45-63% by getting potential offenders to repair the damage done and get help, with drug and alcohol treatment programs, and by limiting the use of firearms.

Observations / Reflections

Problem solving partnerships

Cities that develop problem-solving partnerships, which mobilize agencies such as social services, housing, school and health programs can achieve crime reductions of 11-21% across a whole city. Police and justice officials are able to stimulate partnerships for areas of cities that can reduce specific crimes by 25-45%.

What factors predispose children to growing up as delinquents? Police officers, prosecutors, judges and correctional institutions are aware that there are some offenders that come back again and again, monopolizing significant resources. Scientists have completed several longitudinal studies of children growing up. A typical study collects extensive data from birth to young adulthood on a sample of several hundred children born in a particular year. The scientists

are then able to test whether there are particular early or late childhood experiences, which are associated with more youth getting involved in delinquency and violence. These longitudinal studies confirm that there is a group of persistent offenders – fewer than 5% of males born in a particular year account for as many as 70% of offenses. Further, offending peaks during late adolescence between the ages of 17 and 23 years of age. Diminishing significantly in the mid twenties. These studies show that persistent offenders tend to come from families who experienced: socio-economic deprivation, poor housing, disorganized inner-city communities; Inconsistent and uncaring child-rearing techniques and parental conflict. The children that are more likely to become persistent offenders, are: highly impulsive and hyperactive, with relatively low intelligence and school attainment.

A commission was formed to examine what was known about violence from across the world. The commission appointed scientists, leaders of business, the women’s movement and trade unionists, and supplied them with a budget and staff to bring the scientific studies together. The following factors were the first six in order of priority as increasing violence:

(1) Families as the training ground for violence (one-quarter of abused kids grow up to

abuse their kids);

(2) Society valuing violence (e.g., through sport);

(3) Economic inequalities;

(4) Gender inequalities;

(5) Cultural disintegration; and

(6) Substance abuse.

Where violent crime rates are higher, so are such social indicators as child poverty and the proportion of young males who are dissatisfied with their household income. Conversely, these countries generally spend less on social programs and social security. It is also important to

note that research has shown that in periods of economic prosperity, property crime levels decline, while during recessionary period’s property crime rises.

In 1973, The Law and Justice Planning Office in the city hall of Seattle. Initiated a Community Crime Prevention Program to tackle burglary problems through: residential security inspection services; marking personal property during the home security inspection (e.g., up to 10 items); displaying decals warning burglars that property has been marked; “cocoon-type” block watches involving 10-15 families; and public education campaigns to promote citizen awareness and prevention of the burglary problem. A before-after evaluation using victimization surveys showed a 61% reduction in residential burglaries in the targeted areas after the first year. A program aimed at reducing crime problems and community decay in a public housing project. The program included efforts focusing on: organizing recreational activities for young people and providing a street worker to coordinate activities; 7 caretakers were hired to intensify surveillance; physical design features were altered to encourage surveillance and decrease building vulnerability to vandalism. A before-after evaluation confirmed a 56% drop in reported crime in the housing complex after 2 years

Congress is considering how to help state and local official’s combat violent teenage crime. The most prominent example is the Violent Youth Predator Act of 1996 (H.R. 3565), sponsored by Representative Bill McCollum (R-FL), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime. The McCollum bill would change the federal criminal justice system by mandating that juveniles who commit two types of federal crime — serious violent crimes or major drug trafficking offenses will be tried as adults. Using a control group method, the program

evaluation found that, after 2 years, vandalism had stopped or demised in over 60% of the participants, while it had stopped or decreased in 25% of the control group.

In 1992, approximately 150,000 people received publicly-funded drug and alcohol treatment services in California. Treatment services were offered in the following major treatment program types: residential therapeutic communities; residential social model; outpatient drug-free; and outpatient methadone. The main drugs abused were heroin (31%), alcohol (19%) and stimulants such as cocaine (17%). An evaluation of the treatment programs involving a representative sample of 1,900 persons revealed that the overall rate of recidivism among treated individuals was reduced by 72% over a minimum of one year; it also would impose mandatory minimum sentences on juveniles who use firearms in the commission of a federal crime. In the Senate, the Violent and Repeat Juvenile Offender Act of 1996 (S. 1854), sponsored originally by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and former Majority Leader Robert Dole (R-KS), would make similar improvements in federal law.

Both the Hatch and McCollum bills would give states financial assistance to help them combat juvenile crime. The McCollum bill would replace the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) with a new Office of Juvenile Crime Control. In addition to serving as a clearinghouse for information disseminated to state officials, this office would make $500 million available to the states: $250 million in the form of “incentive grants” to help the states reforms — for example, tougher sanctions on juvenile criminals, mandatory restitution, and greater public availability of juvenile delinquency records — and another $250 million in the form of block grants for the states to use as they think best in combating and preventing juvenile crime. adopt needed

State and Local Responsibility

While Congress can assist local officials with block grants, however, taxpayers know that violent juvenile crime, like street crime in general, is primarily a state and local responsibility. And while the capacity of all government officials to cope with the broader cultural and social changes that appear to be driving increased juvenile criminal behavior is limited, state and local officials still can take decisive steps to reduce violent juvenile crime. They can do this by using their police forces more effectively, and by integrating community police work with the efforts of community leaders and other agencies in the criminal justice system. This is happening already in such localities as New York City, Charleston, and South Carolina. The McCollum bill would help the states by removing the federal mandates that prevent them from adopting many innovative solutions and by providing funds for effective new programs,

According to the Council on Crime in America, a bipartisan commission chaired by former Attorney General Griffin Bell and former White House Drug Policy Director William J. Bennett, crimes committed by male’s ages 14 to 17 will increase by 23 percent between 1995 and 2005. Because of the deterioration of family life, and also because of their easy access to guns, these juveniles are likely to commit more vicious crimes than their predecessors, targeting strangers as well as known enemies. Louis Freeh, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, believes that continuation of current trends in juvenile crime “portends future crime and violence at nearly unprecedented levels.” Recent reports of juvenile crime dropping are of little comfort in light of the coming demographic surge of juveniles in their crime-prone years from dysfunctional families. Growing numbers of young people, often from broken homes or so-called dysfunctional families, are committing murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and other violent acts. As John DiIulio and others argue, these emotionally damaged young people, growing up without faith, fathers, or families, often are the products of sexual or physical abuse. They live in an aimless and

violent present; have no sense of the past and no hope for the future; and act, often ruthlessly, to gratify whatever urges or desires drive them at the moment. They commit unspeakably brutal crimes against other people, and their lack of remorse is shocking. They are what Professor DiIulio and others call urban “super predators.” They are the ultimate urban nightmare, and their numbers are growing. The number of juveniles arrested for violent crimes has increased nearly 60 percent over the last ten years.

+ From 1985 to 1993, the number of murder cases involving 15-year-old juveniles increased 207 percent. Arrests of 18-year-old to 20-year-old males for murder over the same period increased 119 percent.

+ From 1988 to 1992, the number of juveniles involved in aggravated assaults increased 80 percent to 77,900; the number involved in robberies went up 52 percent to 32,900; and the number involved in rapes rose 27 percent to 5,400. Overall, juvenile court cases increased 26 percent. If trends of the past ten years continue, arrests of juveniles for violent crimes will double by the year 2010.

+ From 1989 to 1993, transfers of juveniles to adult court because of delinquency increased 41 percent to 11,800 cases; for crimes against persons, the number of transfers increased 115 percent to 5,000 cases.

+ Of 1,471,200 juvenile court cases in 1992, personal offenses were up 56 percent to 301,000; property offenses were up 56 percent to 842,000; and public order offenses were up 21 percent to 255,900.


Failure to Target Serious Habitual Offenders. In many states, the greatest single weakness of the effort to combat juvenile crime is a simple failure to target the most dangerous young offenders.

The Information Gap. Chronic offenders usually can be identified solely on the basis of their juvenile records. This evidence, however, normally does not accumulate until after the youth’s 16th birthday. If additional factors describing the youth’s school performance and home situation are included, the age at which youthful chronic offenders can be identified and an intervention mounted may be moved up several years.

Declining Police Morale. The continuing failure of the juvenile justice system in many states contributes to defeatism and low morale among local police. Police officers frequently do not treat juvenile crime the same as they treat crime committed by adults. Since no one else in the criminal justice system seems to be serious about punishing juvenile criminals, police officers often feel they will be wasting their time if they pursue juvenil criminals.

Testing or Applying concepts in New situations


Following a step-by-step process, a community can set up an interagency council to coordinate efforts by the police and other local government and social service agencies to collect and analyze data. Train police and local government staff in the use of information technology, and establish a strategy for dealing with these offenders that includes referrals to social service agencies for use in a judge’s decision to incarcerate.

I strongly feel and believe that we as a society are in need of a wake up call. To see the trouble and to comprehend that today’s youth are in a great deal of trouble. With out a relatively strong family or support back-round that many in our previous generations were privy to, juveniles are lost in a limbo of what is not only morally responsible but also a socially responsible behavior. Their parents or guardians are frequently gone either at work or on some other business. The schools K – 12th are literally nothing more than a mid-day day care for the majority of

students until they graduate or drop out. The schools and education system that were once there to actually teach something can only keep their doors open by accepting cola and sports athletic gear endorsements in exchange for unrivaled marketing share of the attending student body. It’s been my general experience that if you give no encouragers to a child or even an adult they lose hope and general empathy towards those that are supposed to be their for them. The majority of today’s K – 12th students quite often are lucky if they have standing room, only to stand in a dilapidated school that was only designed to be in use for 10 -12 years, thirty to forty plus years ago. Buildings that are routinely put on the condemned list only to be patched fixed. This is only one example of how we treat today’s youth. So for those people who wonder why, they only have to look towards themselves.

Resource materials;

How State and Local Officials Can Combat Violent Juvenile


Prison, crime prevention ; criminology resources


Issues in justice, crime and power


SOCAS – M.Sc. in Criminology and Criminal Justice and info.cf.ac.uk


Dr Christine Alder


Best Information on the Net – Criminal Justice The Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics: brings together data about all aspects of criminal justice in the United States presented in over 600 tables from more than 100 sources.


The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice


The Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics


International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC)


International Trends in Crime Prevention: An Annotated Bibliography


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