Need help with my writing homework on Childrens Court in Preventing Juvenile Delinquency. Write a 2000 word paper answering; In Australia, statistics show that juvenile offender rates are often twice as high as that of adults (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2009). Many first-time youth offenders are male and are aged 15-19 years old. The most common type of offense is theft. An article by Karen Bogenschneider (2011) says that these late-bloomers often engage in a few delinquent acts, commit several serious crimes, and then stop their criminal activities by the time they reach adulthood. Moreover, “late-blooming adolescents can be found in most communities, their families appear to be less advantaged than those of early occurring delinquents and the parents appear more skillful in family management practices” (Steinberg in Bogenschneider, 2011, p. 12). Meanwhile, early youth offenders (those who commit their first crime before the age of 15) exhibit psychological and social problems at an early age. They are often “aggressive, impulsive, and lacking in social skills and self-control” (Bogenschneider, 2011, p. 13) and typically, they belong to families which have low socioeconomic status, whose parents are separated and are often unemployed. Studies also show that these young offenders are more susceptible to frequent and violent criminal activities in their later life.
Through the profiles of youth offenders described above, one may say that delinquency is a symptom of social, economic, and political problems. In order to address it effectively, governments have to utilize a multi-faceted approach. It must institute rehabilitative policies that will prevent recidivism among youth offenders. Peter Greenwood (2008) says in his article, “preventing delinquency…not only save young lives from being wasted but also prevents the onset of adult criminal careers and thus reduces the burden of crime on its victims and society” (p. 185). In the U.S. alone, arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating and rehabilitating juvenile offenders costs states billions of dollars – money which can be used to bring about social development and prevent criminal activities from happening in the first place.
In Australia, there are a number of policies already being instituted to prevent juvenile delinquency but there is little data to support their effectiveness. Hence, this research aims to address this knowledge gap.