The Problem of Juvenile Delinquency
Adolescence is a turning point in the development of each individual. The desire to prove their independence and youthful maximalism push the teenager to deviant actions, including crimes. The problem of juvenile delinquency is one of the most urgent in modern society, as it takes on alarming proportions. In the present work, the greatest concern is the problem in the organization of the system of offenses prevention, including recidivism of minors. It is not yet clear how to consolidate the efforts of the public, educational institutions, families, law enforcement agencies in the prevention of juvenile delinquency. Scientific generalizations of positive experience and practice in crime prevention make it possible to systematize this activity and make it more effective.
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Juvenile Delinquency and Minimum Age of Punishment
Today, many scientists believe that the reduction in the growth of relapse depends on juvenile delinquency. According to the circumstances in the United States, the shortest period between a crime and a relapse is in minors, they are much more likely to relapse compared to adults. This short period of time is largely due to the difference in the amount of punishment of an adult and a minor.
Nevertheless, in the United States, the minimum age of criminal responsibility is not defined and depends primarily on the case. Some authors distinguish decisions from the US judicial practice, in which persons were prosecuted at the age of 6 and 10 years for burglary. In making these decisions, law enforcement officers pointed to the fact that children at this age are mature enough to understand what the right of ownership is and have an idea of its violation.
Expediency of Imprisonment
Some experts believe that the reduction in the level of relapse depends on the effectiveness of influence on young people who face criminal prosecution by the state associated with criminal prosecution for the first time. Studies have confirmed that minors who have been subjected to other punishments rather than imprisonment are less likely to relapse. The imposition of the penalty of liberty deprivation should be applied to minors as rarely as possible and only in cases where no other punishment would be appropriate. Deprivation of liberty only exacerbates the negative in the personality of a teenager, and it is unprofitable, based on economic considerations.
The Importance of the First Punishment and the Relapse-Dangerous Age
The first crime and punishment imposed for it are of great importance for the future of a teenager. Studies show that minors are more likely to commit repeated crimes. The most prone to recidivism are minors, who committed the first crime of self-serving or violent crimes. The same group includes adolescents who have committed motor vehicle theft. The factor that determines a teenager’s subsequent behavior is the age at which he or she commits the first crime. This means that the most relapse-dangerous category is minors who have committed the first crime and are convicted under the age of 18, and therefore measures to prevent relapse should be focused on them.
Preventive Activities and the Importance of Studying Circumstances
The preventive work should be built on the basis of the degree of the personality deformation; specialists should identify the source of negative influence and criminal environment. Many criminologists advocate the establishment of preventive legislation. In their opinion, it is advisable to formalize it into a single legal system capable of ensuring a high level, unity, and continuity in the work of its subjects.
It is important that the prevention of relapse should mean purposeful preventive activity, which consists not only of working with minors who are at large but also with those serving sentences. The main purpose of preventing the recurrence of crimes is to prevent the re-commission of crimes by minors, as well as to protect other adolescents from the negative influence of anti-social elements. To make preventive work as effective as possible, it should conduct a study of the adolescents personality, lifestyle, views, family and household sphere, and social circle.
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