Juvenile Delinquency

The age at which children legally become adults varies from state to state, but it generally ranges from 15 to 18. It is, therefore, safe to say that any crime committed before attaining the legal age can be referred to as juvenile delinquency. These crimes range from but are not limited to, disorderly conduct, theft, and vandalism, car hijacking, burglary, assault, rape, prostitution, and murder.

There are several types of juvenile delinquencies. They include; which range from 

  • Individual Delinquency: This is when only an individual is involved in a delinquent act.
  • Organized Delinquency: is when a delinquent act is planned and carried out by a group of minors; and 
  • Situational delinquency: This happens when an individual or group of minors accidentally or as a matter of circumstance, engage in a delinquent act.

Some school of thought speaks of different types of delinquency. These types have been divided into four main groups. They are crimes against property, vagabondage, sexual misdemeanour, and general delinquency. Delinquent acts also include crimes against persons, crimes against property, drug offences, and crimes against public order.

The following are some factors for the increase in the spate of juvenile delinquency;

  • A poor family structure 
  • Lack of quality education
  • Communal violence
  • Peer Pressure
  • Socioeconomic Factor
  • Substance Abuse
  • Absence of Moral Guidance

Though it is easy to apportion blame, there’s an urgent need to proffer solutions.  The well-being of every child is first the sole responsibility of his/her family. Every parent becomes a party to an unwritten contract to protect and provide for their child. The contract, although lifelong, is usually excused when a child enters a legal age. No child is born into a crime but they can be born into crime. Parenting does not come with a handbook; however, physically, mentally, or emotionally abusing a child can lead to a situation where he/he finds comfort in crime. The absence of family support, love, education, and moral education can hinder a child’s future, which can and does lead to delinquency.

The social components all have a responsibility to reduce the surge in juvenile delinquencies. The religious environment and governmental agencies are as well important players in the life of every child.

The most effective programs for juvenile delinquency prevention share the following key components:

  • Education. 
  • Recreation.
  • Community Involvement. 
  • Prenatal and Infancy Home Visitation by Nurses. 
  • Parent-Child Interaction Training Program.
  • Bullying Prevention Program. 
  • Prevention Programs within the Juvenile Justice System.

ThankGod E. Airiohuodion

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