Social sciences has always recognized that environmental factors often play a role in whether a juvenile will be involved in a crime (Siegel & Welsh, 2011). Studies show that our perspective of crime is essentially different from an environmental perspective, which not only focuses on the elements of the crime, such as biological factors, social forces and/or development experiences that create an offender (Siegel & Welsh, 2011). When you look at it the offender is just one element of a criminal event, and how the offenders come to be the way they are is of little immediate relevance to institutions, but is should be. Basically when you remove environmental factors from the equation is to miss a huge reason of why juveniles turn to crime. When you break it down there are three elements to consider when looking at how the environment contributes to delinquency, which is poverty, educational opportunities, and family life (Siegel & Welsh, 2011).
I believe that it must be understood that the environment directly contributes to deviant behavior and also shapes it as well. It is not a surprise that young people spend their free time socializing with members of their social groups. Based on my personal experience peers that have already turned to crime bring others in as well. These crimes can be a result of drug use, mental health issues, lack of educational opportunities or poor quality education, or even on-going family issues (Siegel & Welsh, 2011). It is typical and almost a fact that young people cannot remove themselves from a negative environment, so what happens is they turn to crime because it seems to offer them a solution to their problems. Drugs will offer temporary relief from unpleasant home life or trouble at school (bullying). When you steal that provides money you want because you have no honest means of getting money. That’s why when you look at programs/courts that implement family intervention and education programs the success rate is very high.
When you look at time and space they both are contributing factors to juvenile crime rates. When you study crimes most of them by young and old people are crimes of opportunity. What you will find is that in most cases the person with the idea to commit the crime sees an opportunity rather than a clear need, desire, or a true purpose. In