Seven Things You Should Know About Juvenile Crime
Juvenile justice, system of laws, policies, and procedures intended to regulate the processing and treatment of non adult offenders for violations of law and to provide legal remedies that protect their interests in situations of conflict or neglect.
Punishable offenses that are classified as criminal offenses for adults are referred to as delinquency when committed by juveniles, whereas juvenile offenses mandating legal intervention only are referred to as status offenses.
A high proportion of cases involving juvenile offenders are handled informally by means of cautions or counseling. The procedure followed in juvenile courts is distinct from that of criminal courts.
Understanding why a minor commits a crime is essential to preventing future crimes from happening. Addressing the issues that have led to the choices that the minor child has made can help them change their actions in the future.
Juvenile judges often stress education and rehabilitative programs as opposed to confinement and other penalties.
- Some of the more common juvenile offenses include: theft, larceny, alcohol offenses, disturbing the peace, drug offenses, vandalism, assault, robbery, criminal trespass, harassment, fraud, burglary, loitering, possession of stolen property, possession of weapons and crimes committed on behalf of gangs.
- Certain juvenile offenses, such as sex crimes, can carry lifelong registration consequences or may add “strikes” or other sentencing enhancements that can affect the minor for the rest of his or her life.
- However, in other cases the court may decide to move forward with formal proceedings against the juvenile. If formal proceedings are brought against the juvenile for a minor status offense, it is possible that the juvenile can be placed in a facility with others who are accused of more serious and violent crimes.
- An experienced attorney will be able to highlight the factors that favor the juvenile avoiding formal charges.
- Some of the common factors that are considered include: the severity of the crime, the minor’s behavior, and the minor’s criminal history or lack of one. Additionally, the court will consider the amount of evidence against the juvenile and whether the juvenile’s parent or guardian is able to regulate the juvenile’s behavior.
- Criminal laws apply to juvenile offenders and minors who commit crimes are typically diverted to juvenile delinquency court for adjudication.
- The focus of the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate the minor so that he or she can be a functioning and law-abiding adult.
Turning to criminal acts is often a result of other issues in the life of a minor. It is because of this the court system tries to approach criminal acts differently with underage offenders than with adults.
Some of the reasons that are most common for a minor to turn to juvenile delinquency include:
School problems are one of the causes of juvenile delinquency. There are a variety of reasons related to schooling that can lead a minor to criminal activity. Truancy is one of the main reasons. When a child misses a lot of schools they do not reap the benefits of education or learn the discipline of attending school each day.
Lack of food, clothing or a secure place to stay can also lead to criminal activity. Children will turn to steal when they are hungry. If a minor is in a position to not have their most basic needs met, there is a high potential for many types of criminal activity to take place.
Home Life – When there is a home life that has substance abuse taking place within the home, there is a high risk for criminal activity by the minors in that home. Crimes may be committed to getting necessities that are not being provided, or they may be committed to helping their caregiver support their habits.
Substance Abuse – Personal
When there is substance abuse at home there is a high risk for substance abuse in the minor and is one of the reasons for juvenile delinquency.
Physical Abuse At Home
When a child or teen is being physically abused at home it is not unusual for them to act out when away from home. This is generally in the form of more violent crimes against people or property. Assaults of all types of vandalism are often associated with physical abuse at home.
Lack Of Adult Interaction
Children are influenced by those around them. That is the natural order of things. Children who do not have an adult influence in their life to teach them right from wrong, encourage them to stay within the law, or just be a presence in their lives are more prone to criminal activity.
Peer Pressure – Neighborhood Influence
The people that the minor associates can have a dramatic effect on what choices they make when they are away from home. Peer pressure is a very real thing, and minors will often act out in front of their “friends” so that they feel accepted and are a part of a group and ids reasons for juvenile delinquency.