Families have also experienced changes with the last 25 years. More families consist of one-parent households or two working parents; consequently, children are likely to have less supervision at home that was common in the traditional family structure. This lack of parental supervision is thought to be an influence on juvenile crime rates. Other identifiable causes of delinquent acts include frustration or failure in school, the increased availability of drugs and alcohol, and the growing incidence of child abuse and child neglect.
All these conditions tend to increase the probability of a child committing a criminal act, although a direct causal relationship has not yet been established. Families are important to consider when trying to explain juvenile delinquency. The family unit is crucial to a child’s development and healthy upbringing, in addition, much of what a child learns is through their family or guardians. A criminal parent can teach their child adverse lessons about life when their child views or witnesses their parent’s delinquent behavior.
Peer can also teach an adolescent or child criminal behavior just as the family member can. Family members and peers can also cause delinquent patterns of behavior by labeling their child as delinquent. This is somewhat of the “if the shoe fits, wear it” saying. If a child feels as though they are viewed as delinquent, then they will act as such and find a sense of self-esteem by doing so. Treatment of Offenders n The juvenile justice system tries to treat and rehabilitate youngsters who become involved in delinquency.
The methods can be categorized as community treatment, and institutionalization. In most instances community treatment involves placing the child on probation. When the child is not believed to be harmful to others, he or she is placed under the supervision of an officer of the juvenile court and must abide by the specific rules that are worked out between the officer and the child. In some instances community treatment also takes the form of restitution, in which the child reimburses the victim either through direct payment or through some form of work or public service.
Each activity will challenge students to use information, ideas, and skills. These application exercises will allow students to move from lower to higher cognitive levels. Students will not only read about making decisions, they will practice making and judging decisions. They will use skills in finding, comprehending, organizing, evaluating, and communicating information and ideas. Through regular application of these skills, students may demonstrate competence.
In its simplest definition, “crime” is any specific act prohibited by law for which society has provided a formally sanctioned punishment. This also can include the failure of a person to perform an act specifically required by law. Types of offenses…crimes, whether committed by adults or juveniles, are classified by the seriousness of the offenses as follows: a felony is the most serious offense, punishable by a sentence to a state institution (youth authority facility or adult prison). Felonies generally include violent crimes, sex offenses, and many types of drugs and property violations.
A misdemeanor is a less serious offense for which the offender may be sentenced to probation, county detention (in a juvenile facility or jail), a fine, or some combination of the three. Misdemeanors generally include crimes such as assault and battery, petty theft, and public drunkenness. A fraction is the least serious offense and generally is punishable by a fine. Many motor vehicle violations are considered infraction. Juveniles, like adults, can be charge with a felony, a misdemeanor, or an infraction. However, as we will discuss later, juveniles can also be charged with offenses that are unique to youth.