Violent Juvenile Crime

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Negative Impact of Juvenile Detention Centers
Juvenile Justice Program Analysis

Today, violent juvenile crime is a major concern in the presence of the juvenile justice system. Over the years, juvenile crimes have been classified in four categories, violent crimes, drug and alcohol violations, sexual offenses and status offenses. Violent crimes committed by juveniles have included assault, rape, homicide, robbery, arson, vandalism, larceny, theft, and auto theft as well as possessions of weapons. The increase in violent juvenile crime has been evident from the rise of handguns on the street and within schools to assault and rape. One area that has taken storm within the juvenile justice system has been the increase in the rapid growth of juvenile street gangs. There are several things that contribute to violent juvenile crimes. Research has shown where most violent behavior by juveniles is learned behavior. At some point in our lives we all have had some potential for violent behavior. Some juveniles have observed a tremendous amount of violence and know how to do it. Juveniles in certain communities are committed to conventional norms and values that inhibit their use of violent behavior and they are embedded in social networks, like gangs. In these cases, violent behavior becomes irrational. From experience in working with juveniles violence has been a way of achieving status, respect, and other social and personal needs. According to Polsky’s Diamond, his hierarchy of needs is based on leaders, lieutenants, status seekers and scapegoats; whereas all four of them wants power that can come from violence at a certain extent. For juveniles this could possibly be their only form of power. In juvenile detention centers when there’s a limited source of alternatives and a weak commitment to moral norms and little supervision of negative behaviors due to lack of staff, violent behaviors become rational for juveniles. During a juvenile’s development, the family...
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