The State of Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Treatment

Topics: Juvenile delinquency, Conduct disorder, Crime Pages: 11 (2547 words) Published: May 2, 2015

The State of Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Treatment: An Analysis of Programs and Treatment Modalities

Shanikque Nappier

March 10, 2013
CCJS 350 Juvenile Delinquency

Despite an increase of youth enrichment and engagement programs and initiatives, juvenile delinquency persists as a societal issue that has resulted in negative outcomes for adolescents. The United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention defines delinquency as any act that a juvenile commits that would otherwise be considered criminal if the act were committed by an adult (OJJDP, 2010). These acts can include crimes against persons or property, drug offenses and also crimes against a public order. The OJJDP’s 2010 Annual Report disclosed that there were over 70,000 youth that were held in juvenile residential facilities, a slight decline from statistics of 2000 census data (OJJDP, 2010). The report further indicated that 7 of 10 juvenile offenders in residential facilities had been adjudicated and committed to a facility by the courts; thirty-seven percent of youth in facilities were charged for an offense against a person; and the most common delinquencies were that of probation violations, parole, burglary, robbery and assault (OJJD, 2010)

Persistent in the juvenile justice system has been the domination of males in the residential population and a consistent overrepresentation of youth of color, specifically African-American males (OJJDP, 2010). Geographically, California had the largest population of juvenile offenders in residential placement, with Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas following closely behind (OJJDP, 2010). What is clear is that the state of juvenile delinquency continues to necessitate public attention and a review of the effectiveness of prevention programs and treatment modalities. This paper seeks to produce an analysis of prevention and treatment programs available.

Juvenile Delinquency prevention measures are often referred to as delinquency control or delinquency repression. According to Siegel and Welsh p. 400, delinquency prevention refers to intervening in young people's lives before they engage in delinquency in the first place--that is, pre- venting the first delinquent act. In the US, The history of the prevention of juvenile is closely tied to the history of juvenile justice in this country. From the formation of the House of Refuge, New York in 1825, to more contemporary events, such as amendments to the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (Siegel & Welsh p. 403). Juvenile delinquency can be explained by a number of factors, which may fall under the umbrella of being familial, environmental, psychological, or societal. Juvenile delinquency prevention has its best expected results when there are strategies in place to understand the fundamental predictors to delinquency. Regardless of the specific risk factors, the significance of delinquency prevention has merit. Prevention holds the key to reducing the risk of youth drug dependency/addiction, school dropout, incarceration, early pregnancy and adult criminality (Greenwood, 2008). Juvenile delinquency prevention programs have expanded in great numbers across the country. Prevention programs seek to address youth who may be identified as being at risk for delinquent behavior. Over the years, juvenile delinquency prevention programs have increased exponentially. However, all prevention/intervention programs do not lend itself to the meaningful or effective outcomes for youth. The expansion of prevention programs requires a careful review of the effectiveness of a these programs. Effective prevention/intervention programs are those that strategically seek to reduce risk factors and those that advocate for development and testing of prevention programs in order to have the most meaningful effects (Fagan and...

References: Fagan, A.A. & Catalano, R.F. (2012). What works in youth violence prevention: A review of
the literature
Greenwood, P. (2008). Prevention and intervention programs for juvenile offenders. The
Future of Children, 18(2), 185-210.
Juvenile Delinquency: Prevention, Assessment, and Intervention. Cary, NC, USA: Oxford University Press, USA, 2005.
Henggeler, S.W
Keister, J.A., Bodapati, M., Aeby, V.G., Carpenter-Aeby, T., & Pope, H. (2007). The
unexplored role of EOGs in the prevention of juvenile delinquency in a rural county
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (2010). How
OJJDP is forming partnerships and finding solutions
Welsh, W.N. (1999). Reducing minority overrepresentation in juvenile justice: Results of
community-based delinquency prevention in Harrisburg
Siegel, L. J., & Welsh, B. C. (2009). Juvenile Delinquency: Theory, Practice, and Law. Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage.
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