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Juvenile Delinquency in Minority Groups


The study reviews the case of juvenile delinquency, which is revealed in the behavior of the 13-year old Hispanic boy, Billy, who originally comes from a poor and abuse-oriented family. The issue of criminality in teenagers is especially relevant for the individuals from the minority groups, who tend to be discriminated not only among their peers but in their families as well.

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Delinquent Behavior: The Societal Influences

The impact of the surrounding communities and multiple external conditions serve as critical prerequisites for determining the conduct of a young person. In the case with a Hispanic boy, who has faced abuse from his early childhood, family factor represents a major influencing issue. The problem stems from economical inefficiency of the family, for the child is willing to improve his financial opportunities. Second, it concerns the psychology of human relations. Since Billy’s parents embody a picture of abusive behavior, he tends to follow their conducts and becomes vulnerable to criminal activities. Third, the boy faces discrimination among peers, according to his race belonging, which formulates a distorted image of social justice for the teenager.

Protecting Delinquent Teens: Advocacy Implications

A delinquent behavior in children tends to lead to criminality. The reviewed case demonstrates that the boy from the abusive family was caught at vandalizing cars and bringing a cold weapon to school. Therefore, such conduct might impose some harmful effects on the surrounding society. Still, the experts agree that delinquent teenagers often become victims of inappropriate parenting and unfair treatment. Consequently, they can not be judged along with the standard principles. The modern courts of juvenile advocacy, the first of which started functioning in Chicago, in 1899, were founded with the aim of addressing the issues and providing quality protection to the children.

One can outline three significant advocacy considerations, which have to be taken into consideration while treating juvenile criminality. The first aspect regards racial disparities. Since it is acknowledged that Afro-Americans and Hispanics are prejudiced in the USA, the courts have to consider the effects of a mental and emotional injury, which might be inflicted on a child, who is discriminated against. Second, it is critical to take into account the factor of parenting privilege. Thus, if a child is not instructed on his/her behavior, it is unjust to judge a person, according to his parents’ deficiency. Finally, the youth development aspect, which predetermines the relations that are built by a teenager, influences the adequate conduct of a child. Therefore, it should be considered as well.

Finding Solutions for Delinquency in Teenagers

In the majority of cases, the teenagers, who commit criminal acts or demonstrate abusive behavior, should rather be provided with high-quality assistance than judgment. Otherwise, punishment might destroy the personalities of these individuals (Jones, 2012). The experts state that the imprisonment of a teenager always leads to the repeated instances of the act. If one takes into consideration the studied case, several solutions for delinquency may be offered.

Since criminal behavior primarily stems from family problems, it is critical to provide a child with a positive model of family relationships. Thus, a teenager may be assigned to the family, which would be motivated to spend maximum time with him/her as well as demonstrate the foundation of normal human association to the child (Connecticut voices for children, 2015). Furthermore, one should not disregard the professional assistance of a psychologist, who has to discuss the issues of love, trust, and social relations on a regular basis with the child. Second, one might encourage the teenager to contribute to youth activities. Thus, a person may be sent to a dancing club or sports section, according to the interests of a child. Third, the social initiatives have to take a strong orientation on creating a non-discrimination space for children so that to preclude the incidents of inequality outbursts.

Juvenile Advocacy Roadblocks

The suggested obstacles, which might preclude effective advocacy in teenagers, are diverse. The experts reflect on the prejudice of the court system in the first place. According to the statistic data, approximately 1 out of 3 Hispanic children in the USA are delinquent. In contrast to it, a derelict behavior in the white teenagers concerns 1 person out of 10 (McWhirter, 2011). Therefore, the fate of teenagers from minority groups may be disregarded by the authority.

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The problem of inappropriate treatment of the court is the second roadblock. It is acknowledged that teenagers tend to be aggressive. Therefore, they usually disrupt their emotions on the members of the courts, which predetermine the negative outcomes of trials (Platt & Friedman, 2008). Finally, the lack of interest from the side of advocates may serve as a prevention of objective judgment as well.

The case study represents a model of minority treatment in the USA. Moreover, it discloses the characteristics of juvenile delinquency. The major legal implication, which should be considered in the situation, concerns a legal system reformation. Thus, the government has to align the system of social justice to the practices of modern courts so that to ensure the unprejudiced environment.

Among the major ethical implications, one may emphasize the treatment of inferiority groups. Thus, neither ethnic nor racial belonging should influence the outcomes of trials. The policy of non-discriminative treatment must, therefore, be suggested. Therefore, the central authorities have to keep in mind that delinquent behavior is not only a stipulator of personal problems but some social conflicts as well.


Connecticut voices for children. (2015). Web.

Jones, J. (2012). Ethical considerations in criminal justice research: Informed consent and confidentiality. Student Pulse, 4(8), 2-21.

McWhirter, J. (2011). At-risk youth: A comprehensive response for counselors, teachers, psychologists, and human service professionals. California: Brooks/Crole.

Platt, A., & Friedman, R. (2008). The limits of advocacy: Occupational hazards in juvenile court. Lawyers in Juvenile Court, 116(6), 1156-1181.

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