Is the Change in Today’s Family Values and the Conditions Children Are Raised in to Blame for Youth Delinquency? Is the Juvenile Justice System Geared to Handle This?

Topics: Family, Juvenile delinquency, Childhood Pages: 8 (2268 words) Published: December 5, 2008
Leyton Burk
Juvenile Law
Juvenile Court Report

Is the change in today’s family values and the conditions children are raised in to blame for youth delinquency? Is the juvenile justice system geared to handle this?

Prepared by: Leyton Burk

Kids are highly influenced by their surroundings which include families, communities, schools, peers, high profile figures such as politicians, celebrities, and the media. I believe that a closer look at family values and the way kids are raised needs to be taken.

Over and over I hear people say; what is wrong with today’s youth? Or another question heard is how do they think? I feel the people asking these questions should stop and think where these kids learned it from. A lot of people should take a look at what kind of a role model they have been themselves.

Cesare Lombroso, an Italian Physician and also known as the father of modern criminology and a originator of the positivist view of criminality, said that humans are shaped by their society and our products their environment and cultural influences, and believed that delinquent behavior is a result of biological makeup and life experiences(Hess and Drowns, 2004). I personally do not believe criminals are born, but I do feel that life experiences, environment, and cultural influences do contribute to delinquency.

We need to look at what parts of society are educating and influencing our youth. I would like to start with one of the biggest sources of influence and education on morals, values, “The family and life at home”.

The relationship between youth delinquency and family functioning has been well documented in the literature. Negative parent-child relationships in general and poor parenting skills in particular have been identified as significant risk factors for criminal behavior in youth (SEM, 1997).

We live in a society that is addicted to a fast paced drive to achieve success and material gain. Time is often misperceived as the enemy; we never have enough of it to complete all of our to-do lists. What do we sacrifice, particularly for our youth, when we continue with this pace? We fail to listen to the voices of children. We are a people who are "too busy" to participate in family dinners and community activities (Ness, Ness, 2003). In years past an important part of family life was sitting down, the whole family, at the dinner table and discussing the day’s events. Today, it is hard to find one parent home at dinner time, let alone both. Many families are duel income families and some of which parents work more than one job. With the schedule that most adults lead, today’s child is forced to be more independent and leaves them looking for direction through other means such as, peers, media influences, ect. Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner stated, "Every young person in America should have at least six adults in their life who are absolutely crazy about that kid." (Ness, Ness, 2003). Maybe parents should stop and take a look at who is influencing their children, including themselves as parents, and who their children are looking up to for direction.

Whether adults realize this or not, quantity of family time is extremely important in a child’s development.

Parents and their children are spending less time interacting with each other. As a result, many children are getting less personal love and attention than their parents did. American Demographics reported that parents today spend roughly 40 percent less time with their children than did parents a generation ago(Family First,2008). “Family First” is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping parents with ideas on parenting, teaching your children Morales and ethics. They also sponsor a program that is called “All Pro Dads”, which I am a member. The following are ten ideas for making time and improving the time that you spend with your children. • Commit...

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Hess, K, & Drowns, R (2004). Juvenile justice.Belmont: Wadsworth/Thomson.
Leaderman, Cindy S. (1999). The Juvenile Court: Putting Research To Work for Prevention. Juvenile Justice - An Evolving Juvenile Court: On the Front Lines, VI, Retrieved may 06,2008, from
Ness, Author 's first name initialCarin M. , & Ness, Arlin E. (2003). Can You Hear Me? Are You Listening?. . Reclaiming Children and Youth. 11, 200+.
O 'Connor, T. (2008, Feb 15). Juvinile offenders and troubled teens. Retrieved May 12, 2008, from MegaLinks in Criminal Justice Web site:
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