Juvenile Crimes

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Juvenile Crimes

Different crimes have different offender types causing disparity within the system. Those offenders who commit violent crimes are not the same as those who commit property crimes or status offenses. Knowing what types of juveniles commit what crimes can help with rehabilitation of those juveniles and providing programs to keep juveniles from partaking in these crimes in the first place.

Status Offenses: 

Are behaviors that are considered violations of the law because of age. When committed by a minor these violations are considered status offenses while remaining legal for others. Violations include truancy, running away, and under age drinking. Girls are more often arrested for status offenses

Boys constitute the higher proportion for under age drinking Most cases under status offenses go to family crisis units, county attorneys, and social service agencies. Juvenile courts try to stay away from these offenses.

Property Crimes:

 Include burglary, larceny, theft, and arson.
Over a quarter of juveniles arrested where under the age of eighteen. Boys make up over sixty percent of those juveniles arrested
The rate of juveniles committing property crimes is down by half since 1985

Violent Crimes: 

Include murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Nearly a quarter of all violent crimes where committed by someone under the age of eighteen. Most violent crimes are committed between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.--around the time school is getting out. Boys represent over eighty percent of juvenile arrests for violent crime

Juveniles in Adult Court
Nationwide, it is becoming easier and easier to try juveniles in adult criminal courts. With laws being passed lowering the minimum age in which a juvenile can be tried in adult court the transfer of juveniles to adult courts is becoming more prevalent. Today all fifty states allow for juvenile prosecution in criminal court. There are three ways in which a juvenile can be transferred to adult criminal court.

Judicial Waiver:

 This is the most popular method and is used by juvenile court judges to transfer juveniles to adult court in order to deny the protections of juvenile jurisdictions. All states except New York, Nebraska, and New Mexico provide judicial waivers Youngest one can be waived into adult court is 13-14

Statutory Exclusion: 

A juvenile accused of an excluded offense is treated as an adult from the beginning. Twenty-eight states have statues that remove certain offenses or age/offense/prior record categories from juvenile court's jurisdiction. That means states refuse anyone fitting into one of these categories from being defined as a "child" for juvenile court purposes. Others only include the most serious offenses such as New Mexico, Mississippi, and Arizona.

Direct File: 

Gives discretion to the prosecutors as to where to file each case. Typically direct files give both juvenile and adult criminal courts the ability to hear cases involving certain offenses. Wide variation among states regarding criteria; some emphasize offense categories, age of offender, and still others use past history of the juvenile. Generally, the minimum level of offense seriousness is lower than those needed for statutory exclusion or mandatory waiver.

Factors that increase Juvenile Delinquency
Although juvenile arrest rates have declined in the last several decades there are still valuable aspects of community, programs, and protective factors that can decrease the likelihood of juvenile delinquency.

Individual Risk Factors:
Early aggressive behavior towards others and animals
Substance abuse
Association with antisocial or delinquent peers

Family and Community Risk Factors:
Childhood maltreatment
Parental criminality
Poverty
These are some of the top indicators that a juvenile is more prone to delinquent acts. Spotting these risk factors and providing intervention early on, can greatly...
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