COMBATTING JUVENILE DELINQUENCY 6
Itis arguably true that, the most effective way to deter or preventjuvenile delinquency is assisting the children and their familiesearly enough in advance. The government has rolled out variousprograms that are aimed at alleviating juvenile delinquency. However,these programs would be of little or no use if the community is notinvolved. In my community, various stakeholders have embracedgovernment programs so as to help their children. For the purpose ofthis assignment, a juvenile is defined as anyone who is below the ageof 18. This paper explores various measures that have been adopted bymy community in a bid to solve the problem of juvenile delinquency.The paper also attempts to explain some sociological theories thatrelate to juvenile delinquency. It goes further to giverecommendations of, already tried, ideas that the community couldadopt to enhance the prevention of juvenile delinquency.
Inmy community, incarceration is one of the major methods that is aimedat preventing, both, first-time acts of juvenile delinquency and therepeat of criminal activities by the juveniles (Lawyershop.com,2014). There are a few correctional facilities where the young onesare confined to correct their behavior. To begin with, the thought ofthe youths being confined in a prison scares them away fromcommitting crimes that would end them there. On the other hand, thetraining offered in the correctional facilities works well for thedetainees in ensuring that their behavior is aligned according to thecommunity’s expectations.
Thecommunity has gone further to put in place child-parent trainingprograms. These programs are intended to educate the parents on someimportant parenting skills so that they can be in control of those oftheir children who have begun showing behavioral problems(Lawyershop.com, 2014). In these programs, the parents and theirkids are made to interact. They are guided by therapists who show theparents how to respond to the behaviors exhibited by their children. The program has been a huge success it has been able to reduceaggression, anxious behavior, hyperactivity and lack of attention inchildren (Lawyershop.com, 2014).
Thebest way to combat juvenile delinquency is beginning by understandingits causes. There various theories that explain juvenile delinquencymy community’s strategies of combating juvenile delinquency havebeen drawn from such theories in the formulation of its publicpolicy. Some of the theories that explain why minors do what theyought not to do include the Rational Choice Theory and the BiosocialTheory.
TheRational Choice Theory is one the buys the utilitarian belief. Itargues that human beings are actors of their reasoning (Umsl.edu,2014). It therefore implies that human beings have the ability tomake choices choices that are not baseless but those that aredetermined by rationalism (Umsl.edu, 2014). Human beings evaluate thebenefits and gains in any given undertaking (Umsl.edu, 2014). Theythen determine the means to get them to the desired end. Withrelation to juvenile delinquency, the Rational Choice Theory arguesthat the actors are driven by the urge to accomplish their desire toaccomplish their desires as well as fulfilling their needs. Inmeeting these needs, the actors are bound to make decisions as wellas choices (Umsl.edu, 2014). These decisions and choices are,however, constrained by factors such as availability of information,the actor’s ability and limits. For instance, a 5yr old may not bein the possession of a gun and if he did, he wouldn’t know how touse. He, therefore, is left with fewer options on how he is toexecute his plans which could be acquiring a coin or two for candyfrom a passer-by’s pocket.
RationalChoice Theory asserts and holds onto the claim that crime isdeliberate and calculated (Umsl.edu, 2014). It explains that theactors undertake conscious decision making before executing theircriminal activities. The theory also claims that there are threeprerequisites for crime to take place a potential offender, asuitable and available target and that there should be no authorityto hinder the offender from carrying out the crime (Umsl.edu, 2014).All these are practicable in juvenile delinquency. Taking an instancewhere rowdy and errant students destroy school property in a strike,decision making must have been done a group of students must haveconvened a meeting or necessarily communicated by whichever means andagreed upon the course of action. The aspect of deliberate action isalso evinced. Finally, for the students to succeed in their plan, thethree conditions for crime to take place must be in place thestudents themselves are potential offenders, the target in such acase could be the school administration and then the security systemin place is not able to restrain them from committing the crime.
TheBiosocial Theory is applied in behavioral and social science todetermine the personality traits of an individual by observing theirreaction to stimuli (Crowell, Beauchaine & Linehan, 2009). Thedetermination is biological and a statistical deduction is made fromreduction of an individual’s mental illness, personality disordersand disabilities The Biosocial Theory bases it claims on probability.Its variables vary from time to time the environment, for example (Crowell, Beauchaine & Linehan, 2009). With genetics too, theheritability coefficient is an estimate that specialists can use tointerpret and use to help a delinquent juvenile.
Thesetwo theories serve as the basis of policy making decisions within mycommunity. With the Biosocial Theory, stakeholders are able toisolate individual juveniles and handle them differently for the bestresults. The Rational Choice Theory enables them to identifypotential fields and areas where the youth may be aspiring to indulgein and execute criminal activities.
Mycommunity may have succeeded in deterring juvenile delinquency invarious ways however, there are other lessons that it could learnfrom other communities. One of such activities that have excelled inother communities is the use of recreation. My community ought togear it efforts in putting up recreational facilities where theyouths could spend their free time wisely. Some of these activitiesmay include dancing, karate, art, bowling, sports, drama and music,among others (Lawyershop.com, 2014). When the children meet theyinteract and establish friendships that assist them later in life.Recreational activities occupy idle time where the youth would beplanning some dirty things or engaging in drug abuse after all anidle mind is the devil’s workshop.
Crowell,S., Beauchaine, T., & Linehan, M. (2009). A biosocialdevelopmental model of borderline personality: Elaborating andextending linehanâ€™s theory. PsychologicalBulletin,135(3),495-510. doi:10.1037/a0015616
Lawyershop.com,.(2014). JuvenileDelinquency Prevention > Education, Recreation, CommunityInvolvement.Retrieved 16 November 2014, fromhttp://www.lawyershop.com/practice-areas/criminal-law/juvenile-law/prevention
TheHeritage Foundation,. (1996). HowState and Local Officials Can Combat Violent and Juvenile Crime.Retrieved 16 November 2014, fromhttp://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1996/10/bg1097nbsp-how-state-and-local-officials-can
Umsl.edu,.(2014). RationalChoice and Deterrence Theory.Retrieved 16 November 2014, fromhttp://www.umsl.edu/~keelr/200/ratchoc.html