Delinquency Deterrence Response
January 7, 2011
It is said that the human mind can be a very complex web of thoughts. Thoughts that
can sometimes lead to good or bad actions. Does the actual threat of punishment deter
or does it encourage juvenile delinquency? This question happens to hold two answers
one being yes and the other no. Juvenile delinquency has existed for years but as we all
know it is not a problem that blooms overnight. Juvenile delinquency is a manifested
state that is learned and its causes are manifested from in the home (dysfunctional or
broken), school (pressure to succeed), friends (peer pressure) and family (need to
escape for some reason or another).
According to Thomson Learning Inc. Juvenile Delinquency: The Core (2005),
for some children and teenagers the threat of punishment is so realistic that this
method provides an opportunity for those individuals to do right. This may be because
the individuals rational thought process and the enforcement of punishment either has
been already enforced or the fear of being caught is too high of a price for the
individual to accept. On the other hand there are children and teenagers who do not
fear punishment or any other consequences that may come from their bad actions.
Furthermore, for some individuals the thought of being punished only enrages and
encourages some individuals to continue their bad ways.
It s said that in order for a plant to grow and bloom it has to be fed and nurtured.
This process is no different when it comes to raising children and teenagers. When
children or teenagers are raised in dysfunctional homes with parents that encourage
bad behavior and no discipline enable these individuals to do wrong. Living in a home
with parents that consume alcohol, do drugs, steal and party on a regular basis
encourages these individuals to become delinquent. A child or teen being raised in that
type of environment may assume and be encouraged to think that it is okay to live that
way. Being encouraged by peers to do wrong is not right but to be encouraged by ones
own parent is considered an act that deems detrimental to any child or teenagers life.
The reason for this is because consequences and correction for their bad actions does
not exist (Thomson Learning Inc., 2005).
Some examples of general deterrence, specific deterrence and situational crime
prevention strategies are as followed. General deterrence basically is if an individual
believes that they will be caught in an act for example like holding up a convenience
store and their punishment will be executed to the fullest for that crime. There is the
possibility that the crime will not be committed because the punishment far outweighs
the crime. Specific deterrence is used to lessen the probability of having a repeat
offender. An example of specific deterrence is the three strike law. This method plainly
states that a person who is tried for the same offense will go to jail for committing the
same crime on a third offense. There are no breaks or excuses due to the fact that the
three strike laws were implemented from a previous offense. Situational crime
prevention is the ability to reduce and curb the tendencies of criminals by making their
actions harder to commit. This can be done by having neighborhood watch groups in
conjunction with police patrol at simulated times of the day. Store owners can have
cameras placed in inconspicuous areas of their stores along with having tampered proof
glass or window bars on their stores. The key in situational awareness is to make the
offender thinks twice about their actions and how will it benefit them if they are
caught (Thomson Learning Inc., 2005).
As kids growing up we were always told...
References: Thomson Learning Inc. (2005). Juvenile Delinquency: The Core. Retrieved December
27, 2010 from Thomson Learning Inc., CJS/240 website
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