In an essay of approximately 1500 words, outline and discuss some the possible causes of Juvenile Crime?

Essay by SoftcentredA, October 2005

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Juvenile crime and how it affects our society.

The increase in juvenile crime, highlighted by the proliferation of handguns in schools in America and in Britain knives, has caused some concern and has meant both the British Government and American States have had to take action. Within the past six months, a critical mass of public opinion has formed around the issue.

These groups are categorised into violent, delinquent or social groups.

Violent group members are usually unstable and carry weapons, whilst delinquent gangs are smaller and carry out petty crimes such as theft and muggings.

What is Delinquency?

Delinquency is the legal term for the behaviour of children and adolescents that in adults would be judged criminal under law. In the United States, definitions and age limits of juveniles vary, the maximum age being set at 14 years in some states and as high as 21 years in others.

It is said to have increased due to the lack of punishment given to offenders and also the influence from other gang members. You are not considered one of the gang until you have completed an initiation test which would include committing an offence so that you are fully accepted as a member.

It is believed that most delinquents come from dis-advantaged families even though this has not been proven as fact. It is said that lack of parental guidance and quality time spent with family members could also be a major factor. Also another factor could be the higher unemployment rates with more families living below the bread line and less jobs available for young people, therefore, more young people then turn to criminal behaviour instead.

The family unit has also changed over the years due to more divorce and separation and more families being made of step...