Juvenile Justice Process

Juvenile Justice Process


At present, the very fundamental problems of young people still exist and they endure in relatively diverse forms than in the past. Juvenile crisis exist in concurrence with modern challenges distinctive to juveniles in the present time; that is why juvenile delinquency is one such crisis that has acquired profoundly immense social and human cost.

Substance Abuse

            “Substance abuse” demotes to the experimentation with prohibited drugs as well as those that are prohibited for juveniles to use, specifically tobacco, alcohol, and drugs (Martin, 2005, p.134). The disorder is used to illustrate a pattern of substance use leading to considerable distress or problems such as substance-associated legal problems, substance use in risky situations, failure to attend school, or continued substance use that gets in the way with family and friendship bonds. As a disorder, substance abuse refers to the abusive use of permissible substances or the abuse of prohibited substances. Substance abuse has long been associated by researchers with juvenile delinquency. Drugs and alcohol in particular have been linked with violent deviance of adolescence and are believed to be among the most severe problems of youth in the present time.

            The number of annual arrests among juveniles for liquor-law violations and drug abuse during the past 30 years has been considerable. In a usual yearly example, 158,500 juveniles were detained for liquor-law violations, 220,700 were detained for drug violations, and another 19,600 were detained for driving while under the influence of alcohol (Martin, 2005, p. 136).

Poverty and Homelessness

            The most vulnerable group to early exposures of drug and alcohol abuse that leads to delinquency is the homeless juveniles. Compared to other Western democracies, the percentage of children in the United States that are living in poverty is considerably higher, probably two to three times higher (Martin, 2005, p.136). In 2001 almost 12 million or approximately 16 percent of American children lived in poverty; this means that their parents’ earnings were at or lower than the Federal poverty level (Martin, 2005, p. 137). The figure is about the equivalent number of children who lived in poverty during 1980 (Martin, 2005, p. 137). From 2000 to 2001 there was a 17 percent increase on the number of American children that lived in extreme poverty; that is 5 million or approximately 7 percent of all American children (Martin, 2005, p. 137).

Unique Needs

            All unique juvenile population needs facilities and programs that are capable to ensure their conditions as well as manage possible demonstrations of undesirable behaviour. The rationale of specialized facilities and programs is to intervene early in the lives of juvenile populations in order to assist them control their conditions and to make them as dynamic as possible.

Several juvenile delinquents have special needs that require professional interference. The juvenile delinquent population sometimes necessitates prolonged remediation or treatment for their needs. This is because juvenile delinquents are often mentally or behaviourally impaired, causing them to imitate improperly (Martin, 2005, p. 140).

            In addition to the aforesaid needs, juvenile delinquents in adult correctional establishments must also be handled in a different way. The approach extends to the juveniles housing needs; and the housing design must be flexible to permit corrections staff to adjust the housing to the needs of the juvenile residents. The unit’s design should allow the appropriate supervision of the population by an officer and simultaneously provide inmates some degree of isolation.

Risk Factors

            Risk factors can be described as scientifically ascertained causes that have a strong causal relationship or connection to a problem. Comprehensive understanding of several factors that effect in juvenile delinquency can facilitate the society in attaining solutions to deal with this crisis. Some of these factors include family, school, peer groups, community and individual.


            Insufficient child-rearing practices of parents are among the most controlling forecasters of antisocial behaviour (Alampay, 2006, p.7). In most cases, parents who are hostile and rejecting have children who are at higher risk for misbehaviour. Occurrence such as intense family hostility and conflict, family violence, child neglect, child abuse, and ineffectual punitive practices can have a direct control on a juvenile’s state of mind, resulting in juvenile misdeed and delinquency (Go, 2008, p.1). It is significant to have an excellent communication between children and parents, actual parental care and sufficient elderly guidance and supervision in order to guarantee healthy progress of a child.


            As juveniles become gradually more deficit in academic proficiencies, they often find themselves placed in a classroom with juveniles of comparable behavioural and academic profiles (Alampay, 2006, p.5). At this point, friendships may materialize that maintain problem behaviour and discourage academic commitment. This series of events makes juveniles with cognitive problems less expected to complete their schooling, and presents an obvious risk factor for antisocial behaviour.

Peer Groups

            Children that are excluded and disliked often group and meet each others’ social needs that have been unfulfilled by other peer groups or their families (Alampay, 2006, p.10). Given their general backgrounds and risks, juvenile in delinquent peer groups are more approving and lenient of delinquent behaviours. To continue their status in the group, juveniles may purposively perpetrate antisocial acts such as destruction of property and truancy, disrupting classes and bullying classmates.


            Researches have proven that community play’s an extraordinary role in the progress of children and their smooth transition from juveniles to young adulthood and to adulthood (Go, 2008, p.1). A strong community organization assist juveniles to develop their necessary social skills, enhance self-confidence and increase powers of decision-making. On the other hand disorganized communities are a possible risk factor for juvenile violence. Significant community level risk factors consist of lack of recreational opportunities and quality education, availability of weapons and prevalence of prohibited drugs.


            Violent behaviour has also been detected in juveniles with certain types of cognitive, neurological and biological problems. Some of these include increased rivalry from peers, poor school performance, low verbal ability and IQ, poor mental aptitude, restlessness, anoxia, low birth weight, lowered reasoning abilities, compressed problem-solving proficiencies, neurophysiological abnormalities and irregular functioning of neurotransmitter systems and steroid hormones. (Go, 2008, p.1).


            Prevention of juvenile delinquency needs to be part of every government’s broader endeavour to battle social inequalities and poverty. Nevertheless, there are a numbers of variables as well as family and juvenile processes that intervene between delinquency and poverty that are more adaptable to change. The said factors should consequently be the foremost focus of immediate prevention programmes of the government together with ongoing attempts to lessen poverty.


Child Protection.org. (2006, July). Risk Factors and Causal Process in Juvenile Delinquency: Research and Implications for Prevention. Retrieved September 23, 2008, from www.childprotection.org.ph/monthlyfeatures/aug2k6b.doc

Ezine Articles. (2008). Risk Factors Associated With Juvenile Delinquency. Retrieved September 23, 2008, from http://ezinearticles.com/?Risk-Factors-Associated-With-Juvenile-Delinquency&id=1017179

Martin, G. (2005). Juvenile Justice. SAGE.