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Juvenile crimes are a serious problem in society not only for the present, but also in terms of how they may impact our nation’s future. Juvenile delinquency can be considered a systemic problem – parents, schools, society, culture, and government agencies all have some contribution to juvenile crime.
A number of factors make adolescents more likely to engage in criminal activity. However, studies have shown that support from the community can keep teens from turning to criminality, and can help put at-risk teens back on the right path, keeping them out of generally unhelpful or even harmful juvenile incarceration programs.
Below we discuss why juveniles commit crimes, which factors decrease the risk of juvenile delinquency, and how community support can help prevent or reduce juvenile crime.
Much research has been undertaken to understand why exactly juveniles choose to commit crimes. Although juvenile delinquency is complex and the reasons for delinquent behavior vary greatly between individuals, research has identified four common factors that increase the risk of juvenile delinquency:
No single solution will prevent juvenile crimes and antisocial behavior. However, certain factors decrease the risk of delinquent behavior among teens and pre-teens:
As community members, we can help prevent juvenile delinquency by being positive role models for youth in the community, and by volunteering for community outreach programs intended to support at-risk youth. Mentoring programs such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters are a great way to provide one-on-one support to youths from troubled backgrounds.
The bottom line is that juvenile delinquency is a systemic problem, and no one solution will completely resolve it. However, as community members, we can make the system more supportive of youth, discouraging delinquency and antisocial behavior.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.