Juvenile Delinquency

Topics: Juvenile delinquency, Family, Crime, Criminology / Pages: 9 (2077 words) / Published: Jun 24th, 2002
Juvenile delinquents, or youth that have been convicted of a crime, seem to be the norm these days. Citizens, families, and poliy makers want new programs and policies within the juvenile justice system. Researchers have found that the family structure can be a precursor to delinquent behavior, and families do not have the control or blance that they once did. As such, mew measures need to be implemented to help these families in crisis. Rehabilitation of the family unit is the answer, say many, not punishment. In response to this, new ideas have formed to rehabilitate the family unit, but first, the family structures that are precursors to delinquent behavior must be identified. "Family Life, Delinquency, and Crime: A Policymaker's Guide,"compiled by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, introduces us to the theory that the family structure is a precursor to delinquent behavior. The authors and research contributors cite various family "dysfunctions" that contribute to delinquent behavior. Some of the family dysfunctions that the authors focus on are; parental criminality, parental interaction, parental supervision, and single-parent families. Parental criminality plays an important role in relation to delinquency, but based upon the stdies reviewed, poor parenting appears to be among the most powerful predictors of juvnile dleinquency. A good parent/child relationship has a positive impact on desistance from delinquent behavior. Two researchers, West and Farrington, sum it up by concluding in their research that, "the fact that delinquency is transmitted from one generation to the next is indisputable." (West and Farrington, 1973, p.109) They also conclude that poor parenting is linked with delinquent behavior.
Parental interaction and supervision, or lack of, also contributes to delinquent behavior. The authors are unequivocal in their beliefs and studies that children that have parents who do not interact with them, or

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