Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Although most children who break law are considered salvageable and worthy of community treatment efforts, there are also violent juvenile offenders whose behavior requires a firmer response. Some state authorities have declared that these hard-core offenders cannot be treated as children and must be given more secure treatment that is beyond the resources of the juvenile justice system. State control over a child's non-criminal behavior supports the parens patriae philosophy because it is assumed to be in the best interest of the child.

Usually, a status offender is directed to the juvenile court when it is determined that his parents are unable or willing to care for or control him and that the adolescent's behavior is self-destructive of harmful to society. Delinquency prevention refers to intervening in a young person's life prior to engagement in a delinquent act. In some instances, prevention means helping kids develop defenses to them resist the crime promoting elements in their immediate environment.

In other instances, it can mean helping experienced offenders who have already been involved in antisocial behaviors develop the skills that can enable them to resists delinquency and a delinquent way of life. Traditionally, delinquency prevention efforts are divided into three types: Primary prevention: It focuses on improving the general well-being of individual children through such measures as providing access to health care services and education or modifying conditions in the physical environment, such as removing abandoned vehicles and improving the appearance of neighborhood buildings.

Secondary prevention: It involves intervening with children and young people who are viewed as being at high risk for becoming juvenile offenders. Secondary programs involve provision of neigh hood youth programs designed to help such kids avoid involvement with gangs, drugs, and delinquency. (Siegal & Welsh, pg 15,131) Tertiary prevention: It focuses on intervening with juveniles who have already committed delinquent acts and have been adjudicated delinquent in juvenile court. These youth are placed in substance abuse treatment programs, anger management programs, group counseling, and so on.

Here, the goal is to reduce repeat offending or recidivism. Hall stressed, however, alienated youths' difficulties adjusting to the demands of modern society. Because Hall viewed juvenile delinquency as a common experience among adolescents in a modern, urban society that places great temptations and stress on all young people, he offered no hope for simple solutions. He rejected, for example, strict and rigid punishment, and questioned the efficacy of the current educational system to prevent juvenile delinquency.

Instead, he called for the further scientific study of juvenile delinquency- a call that was heeded by many early 20th-century scholars, including many of his own students. By emphasizing the universality of adolescence, its stormy nature, and the period of early adolescence, Hall helped to reshape the ways Americans viewed children at risk. (Ketterlinus & Lamb, pg 12) To prevent juvenile delinquency one must reach its sources which are generally found in the home life.

The juvenile delinquency usually has no religious training, as he ordinarily comes from a home without religious standards.


Ketterlinus, D, Robert. Lamb, E, Michael. (1994). Adolescent Problem Behaviors: Issues and Research. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. pg12 O'Grady, John. (1971). Catholic Charities in the United States. New York: Arno Press & The New York Times. pg 127 Siegal, J, Larry. Welsh, C, Brandon. (2004). Juvenile Delinquency: The Core. US: Thomson Wadsworth. Pg 15, 131