Final Capstone Project
Early Prevention and Intervention
There are many issues that face the criminal justice system in our society today. However, one of the most overlooked issues that face our criminal justice system today has to do with juvenile delinquency and the growing problem that our society is faced with in this area. My final capstone project is going to discuss this issue of juvenile delinquency and what ideas I have to better improve this issue. My paper will take an in-depth look into many areas that I feel are needed to be discussed in order to better figure out a solution to this issue. One of the main topics will be my focus on the possible link that has been seen between early criminal problems later adolescent delinquency problems and eventual serious adult criminal tendencies. I will also focus on the topic that I feel is very important when discussing this issues which is a thorough look into why children that have parents with criminal issues are at a high risk of becoming criminals themselves. Their are of course many other topics that apply to this issue that I will discuss and this will all eventually lead to solutions that are being applied to this problem and also strategies and solutions that I will devise on my own. But first let’s look at juvenile delinquency on its own as the main issue that faces our criminal justice system.
The term juvenile delinquency refers to the antisocial or criminal activity of the child below 18 years of age and which violates the law. “Juvenile Delinquency is the broad-based term given to juveniles who commit crimes. Juveniles are defined as those people who haven’t reached adulthood or the age of majority. What defines adulthood or the age of majority in a court system may be predetermined by law, especially for minor crimes. Major crimes may force the courts to decide to try a juvenile as an adult, a very important distinction, since sentencing can then mean not just spending adolescence, but a lifetime in prison. Delinquency can be defined as the committing of those things considered crimes by the state, although delinquent can also mean abandoned. Thus juvenile delinquency can cover anything from small crime — a student who cuts school repeatedly is delinquent--to very serious crimes like felony theft and murder.”(Lawson) Juvenile Delinquency as a whole is such an issue for the criminal justice system due to its increase over the past decade. The office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has compiled some statistics to show just how much the issue of juvenile delinquency has increased. “Youth Offenders are much more likely to be caught for committing crimes than adults are. Between 1987 and 1994 arrest rates of juvenile increased sharply. Aggravated assault rates doubled, as did murder rates. Drug abuse arrest rates have also increased steadily through the 90’s and have not yet dropped significantly. In the year 2000, 2,369,400 juvenile were recorded when arrested of this number 363,500 were for theft.”(Farsen)
All the statistics that I have chosen to put into my paper I hope will show the ever increasing issue that juvenile delinquency has on the criminal justice system. Now that we have a better understanding of what a juvenile delinquent is defined as we can now look deep into why these children become delinquent which I feel in the end will give us a better view into what is being done and how we can improve the issue and my personal solutions to fix these issues. The first main focus I would like to look into is the possible link between early criminal problems and later criminal problems.
One of the links that I was able to find shows that many people in the field feel that it is inevitable and that there is a genetic predisposition when looking into this possible link between juvenile delinquency and their likelihood to be involved in crime when they reach an adult age. “While...
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