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Juvenile Delinquency In America Essay

2956 words - 12 pages

Juvenile Delinquency in AmericaPreludeThis project was written 2 distinct parts - The analysis of the problem of juvenile delinquency in American society, and a theoretical, model court and rehabilitation system for handling the prosecution, sentencing, and reformation of juvenile delinquents. The full scale of this paper does not delve into the most intricate theories of any one aspect of the juvenile delinquency dilemma of today, rather it touches on a host of contributors which combine to form the whole of the problem.In researching this project, it has become evidently clear that the elusive, omnipotent "answer" to the problems plaguing the juvenile justice system is as much a myth as ...view middle of the document...

), I don't believe I have really come to any conclusion about a solution. Not one that fits within the strict parameters of the demands of today's politically correct society, anyway. So, as MY court is not so subject to the restrictions of societal mores, I have offered this...DefinitionFor purposes of clarity in the JC Juvenile Justice Code of Law (as well as this paper), adolescence is recognized as the period in life when a child begins to develop the mental capacity to reason and think as an adult, and ends with the legal recognition of the child as an adult (by age or decree). Somewhere in that tumultuous turning period of growth, the child achieves a milestone whereby his (or her) capacity to reason and understand the inertial law of actions and consequences becomes more adult-like than child-like. That is, in his developmental journey from child mindset to adult mental functioning, the child passes the "51st percentile", thus making the child's actions "adult-like" in nature and intent to the eyes of the court. It is the intention of the court to determine where the child lies on the growth scale of maturity.Juvenile delinquency, then, is identified as a series of behaviors which represent a deviance from, not only definably illegal behaviors, but also from socially-accepted norms for the child (with respect to age, demographics, etc).Causes of Juvenile DelinquencyIn defining juvenile delinquency, I will both acknowledge and reject the current theories on the foundation of its source(s). I do not discount the potential validity of any of the current, proposed theories on the causes of juvenile delinquency. Rather, I recognize that each juvenile delinquency case is unique in its historical, biological, and sociological facts and therefore, subject to different theories on cause and solution. There are no absolutes in theories and no theory is all encompassing. The extenuating circumstances are infinite. Thus, no one theory can apply to each and every juvenile delinquency case with more than a limited degree of accuracy.While no theory serves as an ideal model on the motive behind the epidemic of juvenile delinquency in the system currently, there seems to be an overwhelming trend that goes acknowledged, but unaddressed. I believe the very heart of this problem lies in the failure of the child to learn the basics of "right vs. wrong" somewhere in the infant-school age period of his/her life. I will acknowledge the additionally detrimental factors - poverty, abuse, geography, etc. - as contributors to the juvenile delinquency dilemma, but only as contributors to an already established problem in the mindset of a child. While it is a subliminal purpose of this report to blame the root cause of juvenile delinquency on poor parenting, or a simple lack of parenting at all, this insinuation would (1) neglect the inherent duty of ALL citizens, regardless of age, to obey the law and (2) it would undermine the obligation of the juvenile delinquent...

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