The thought that punishment would be able to deter crime is absolutely ludicrous. If the threat of punishment actually worked, the prisons would be empty. It is clear punishment failed as a deterrent, so why does society insist on punishing criminals? I believe society just likes to punish. We like to get even with those who offended us/ or our social norms. Another reason juveniles are not deterred by crime is because they do not fully understand the punishment.
Looking back at some of the choices I made when I was younger I can hardly believe I am the same person. For lot of young kids growing up without proper adult supervision and nothing else to do, crimes seems appealing. In the book they talk about routine theory of delinquency, “Routine activities theory holds that delinquency is caused by the lack of capable guardians, the availability of suitable targets, and the presences of motivated offenders (such as unemployed teenagers)”.
Jail does nothing to reform juvenile offenders, it just integrates them into a culture of adult offenders. I think the key to curbing delinquent behavior in kids starts with the family. We don't have the reigns as tight on our kids as our parents had on us, and it shows. Kids need curfews, jobs, and a sense of respect in general, and no amount of threats will instill on that.
I think families and communities have to take more responsibility for teaching children to distinguish right from wrong. For example we need more juvenile outreach programs and studies show that after school programs have been proven to deter crime among juveniles. Last, but not least I think the nation must expand preventive programs that help families and steer children away from crime.
The problem is not a lack of adequate punishment, but the deterioration of the family