January 27, 2013
L. Scott Bennett
Final Project - Juvenile Crime Paper
Most states have designated courts for both juvenile offenders and adults and there are many differences between the two court systems. The differences are that the juvenile courts are not as open as adult courts, meaning that hearings are held in private and the offender names are not released as public information, the records can also be erased from the record after all obligations are met. Another difference is that bail is usually not offered to juveniles and they would have to prove that they are not a flight risk or dangerous to society. Juveniles will receive longer probation sentences than most adults and will have to maintain certain grades and report to the probation officer more frequently. Juvenile criminals between ages of thirteen to seventeen who have committed serious crimes and are incarcerated can receive a lesser sentence than adults who have committed the same crime and they could be released when they are in their early twenties.
Delinquency is defined as the broadest usage of juvenile actions or conduct in violation of the criminal law or other juvenile misbehaviors. (Schmallenger, 2011) In my opinion, younger kids commit misdemeanor crimes as they are trying to impress their friends and some of the more serious crimes can be committed for the same reason. When young kids get together with their friends it becomes a desire to see what they can get away with and they are willing to try anything just for the fun of it and they do not think about the repercussions that they will face when they get caught. Several underage kids think that they can drink and throw parties when their parents are out of town and that they will not receive any kind of trouble because of it. The movie Project X shows the influence of drugs and alcohol that plague our youth today, and the kids think that it would be a great accomplishment to have over 3000 people show up to a party that they were throwing. To most kids in their teen years popularity is one of the most important things in life, so by throwing a huge party their peers will respect them, especially if the police are called and others get into some type of trouble. Peer pressure is a big reason for the behaviors that we see in teens today and another reason they turn to the life of crime is because that is the behavior they have learned from their parents and the community they live in.
Status offenses describe the behavior of juveniles whether they are skipping school, running away from home, and simply displaying incorrigible behaviors. When a student has missed many consecutive days of school it becomes a requirement of the school to inform the parents and the local truancy officer to get the child returned to school. Many times the parents will not realize that their child is skipping classes every day or they are truly blinded by the obvious problems that the child may be portraying. When parents show that they have no concern for what their children are doing it makes the kids believe that they can do whatever they choose. When kids are left to make their own decisions they will follow what their peers what them to do instead of doing what is right or trying to follow a better path. Status offenses only pertain to juveniles as they are offenses that are illegal only because the offender is underage.
While there are no research findings that can determine why a juvenile chooses the life of crime, many studies show that drug use and behavioral problems in earlier stages of adolescence than originally thought, these children are also targets for gang activity and are thought to begin these illegal activities by the time they are ten years old. The rise in juvenile delinquency has grown over past years and many will blame the media and the video games that children are allowed to play will affect the way that they…