Juvenile Deliquents: Forensics Essay

Submitted By sowellfan33
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Pages: 12

A juvenile in the criminal and civil courts is defined as someone who is under the age of 18. There are more male juvenile offenders than female juvenile offenders, however since 1985 female rates doubles while males rose only 30% (site alternative.org). According to the U.S. Department of Justice (2010), the top juvenile crimes in general are theft, disorderly conduct, drug abuse, liquor law violations, running away, and vandalism.
A Juvenile Offender has been subjected to many different classifications. The most famous classification has to be the Adolescent Limited and the Life Course Persistent offender. These terms were keyed by clinical psychologist Terrie Moffitt, in her “Moffitt Theory” which is one of the dominant theories in the psychology of crime and delinquency today (Bartol & Bartol 2012).
The first identified type of juvenile offender that Moffitt identified would be the Life Course Persistent offender. This specific type of offender shows tremendous differences from other people at a very early age. Unlike normal children this offender displays certain neurological problems during their childhoods, such as difficult temperaments as infants, attention deficit disorders, or hyperactivity (Bartol & Bartol 2012). Due to these deficiencies this type of person rapidly progresses into becoming a more aggressive and violent person. For instance, Moffitt created a lifelong trajectory of delinquency and crime for the Life Course Persistent offenders. Across the life course, theses individuals exhibit changing manifestations of antisocial behavior: biting and hitting at age four, shoplifting and truancy at age ten, selling drugs and stealing at age sixteen, robbery and rape at age twenty-two, and fraud and child abuse at age thirty. (Bartol & Bartol 2012). These type of offenders have an incessant need to keep breaking the law until they are locked away in a prison. Fortunately however, about five to ten percent of male and two percent of female juvenile offenders are classified as Life Course Persistent offenders.
The next type of Juvenile classified by Moffitt is the Adolescent Limited offender. These types of offenders are influenced by their peer and social environments rather than being born into offending like the Life Course Persistent offenders. This type of offender is the most common type of path a delinquent will take. An Adolescent Limited Offender has usually gotten away from most of their offenses such as engaging in truancy, alcohol and theft. These offenses symbolize adult privilege and demonstrate autonomy from parental control (Bartol & Bartol 2012). However, once a delinquent reaches the age of eighteen they dramatically alter their life. Upon turning this certain age they quickly realize the penalties they could encounter if they continue their lifestyle. One of the most crucial reasons these offenders do not continue to break the law is because of their ability to form a satisfactory repertoire of academic, social, and interpersonal skills (Bartol & Bartol 2012). Unlike the Life Course Persistent offenders who born antisocial, these offenders are able to form relationships and can be tolerated by a larger percentage of people. Luckily for the Adolescent Limited offenders they are able to become attracted to the rewards of relationships with a pro-social person, full-time jobs, and progressing to a college education, which deters them from further continuing their criminal habits.
When a juvenile offender the individual is introduced to the Juvenile Court system. However, the juvenile court system has not always been around. Before the first juvenile court was introduced in the year 1899 in the state of Illinois juveniles who broke the law were sent to a “House of Refuge” a facility that was similar to a juvenile detention center. Although juvenile courts were first established during the 19th century, these courts were very similar to what one would call a “Kangaroo Court.” This is a type