Juvenile Offenders - Race and Ethnicity

Essay by civers February 2009

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Juvenile Offenders: Race and EthnicitySociety had researched and observed many differences of juvenile offenders among their race and ethnicity. "Emerging evidence suggests that variants of specific genes may influence some youths to seek out or associate with antisocial peers." (Beavor, Wright, & Delisi 2008) For many reasons juveniles decide who they associate with based on race, similar interests, characteristics, behaviors, and ethnicity backgrounds. One of the greatest correlates to crime is associating with offending friends; these types of offending friends may range from being anti-social, criminal, or have a pattern of drug use. Either way the juveniles end up living a life of crime for many different reasons.

In this paper I will be discussing the reasons juvenile offending plays a key role in race and ethnicity. I will be summarizing the patterns that juveniles have when offending by race and ethnicity and various explanations for their racial and ethnic differences.

Many things can play a factor in why juveniles choose delinquent friends such as social learning theory. These types of behaviors are mimicked and adopted by similar behaviors. "We seek environments that are compatible with our genetic dispositions." (Beavor, Wright, & Delisi 2008) Many juveniles of the same characteristics will seek out friends who share those same interests such as; thrill seeking, these types of individuals are more likely to join in the same types of crimes together.

First, every violent death or offending within a juvenile should be taken seriously and addressed aggressively and in a serious manner. Compared with non-Hispanic white youth, minority youth have a greater risk of early violent death or offending. Moreover, minorities are overrepresented in the justice systems. One study found that one fourth of low-income, urban, African American youth has been arrested by age 18. More than 1 in 10 African...