Treatment vs. Punishment There are many different types of crimes committed by juvenile delinquents in today’s society. These crimes consist of violent crimes, property crimes, forgery, fraud, vandalism as well as many others. In 2009, there were 32,638,900 youths in the United States and 1,906,600 of them were arrested for a type of crime. (Puzzanchera & Adams, 2012). There are many options that the Department of Juvenile Justice System can lead towards such as punishment or treatment, but the rehabilitation depends on the juvenile at hand.
Most research suggests there is a reduced recidivism amongst juveniles who receive treatment.
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Treatment options are the ideal way to deal with juvenile delinquency. Juvenile Delinquency The definition of juvenile delinquency is a behavior against the criminal code, committed by an individual who has not reached proper adulthood by state or federal law. (Bartol & Bartol, 2011). Different states have different age of jurisdictions ranging from ages 15 through 17 which 37 states have adopted. “The age of the youth dictates whether the juvenile court or the adult court system has authority over the case. (Listwan, 2013, Sec 1. 2). For instance, if a juvenile committed a crime in Michigan at the age of 17 the jurisdiction would be in adult court system. Treatment and Punishment Concepts There is a debate on whether juvenile delinquents should be punished for their crimes, or if they should be rehabilitated for the crimes they committed. When many people look at the court system they may believe that the juvenile justice system is geared towards punishment but in the past, the juvenile justice system was geared towards rehabilitation. Historically, the juvenile justice system was oriented toward rehabilitation and care of the youth. ” (Listwan, 2013, Sec 1. 3). In recent years, society is getting back to rehabilitation concepts by incorporating different treatment options whereas in the 1970’s a psychologist by the name of Robert Martinson did a study on whether or not treatment reduced recidivism rates. In his study, Martinson concluded that treatment did not lead to lower recidivism rates and stated, “Nothing works” when it came to treatment. (Listwan, 2013).
Currently in the midst of juvenile delinquency, research is showing that treatment services are working by as much as 30–35 percent. (Listwan, 2013). In Australia, a study was conducted on recidivism rates for juvenile offenders and they reported that 1,500 juvenile justice clients reoffended, which was a 61 percent increase. (Day, Howells & Rickwood, 2004). They were astonished by this number and began to implement rehabilitation known as a “what works” approach to offenders. “This approach can be summarized by a core set of principles of human service delivery.
Collectively, these principles suggest that reductions in recidivism can be maximized when programs select appropriate candidates, target factors that directly relate to their offending, and are delivered in ways that facilitate learning. ” (Day, Howells & Rickwood, 2004, Para 5). This program appears to be working at the recidivism rates are decreasing. The United States is also implementing rehabilitation programs to help reduce recidivism rates. “More than 30 years of research has produced a body of evidence that clearly demonstrates that rehabilitation programs work. (Przybylski, 2008, Pg 2). Juvenile Sex Offenders and Juvenile Justice Intervention Strategy A juvenile sex offender is described as a youth who has been convicted of a sex crime which may include rape, sodomy, fondling, or other forced sexual act. (Listwan, 2013). Numerous people believe that society should throw away the key on these juvenile sex offenders. “Sex offenders are often placed on the lowest rung of the criminal hierarchy— meaning that most people feel that sex offenders are the worst of the worst. ” (Listwan, 2013, Sec 9. 4).
In some cases, if a child does not receive the proper counseling needed, they can grow up committing the same acts of violence which were bestowed on them. For instance, “violence becomes a learned problem-solving technique transmitted from one generation to the next in a phenomenon known as the cycle of violence. ” (Collica & Furst, 2012, Sec 7. 1). If a youth does end up committing this act of violence, they are first adjudicated by the court system and will receive their sentencing. A judge will either send them to a treatment facility or else may send them to a detention center depending on the age of the juvenile.
All judges seem to believe that family structure and prior record are almost equally important factors in determining offenders’ likelihood of rehabilitation. (D’Angelo, 2010). There are many treatment facilities which deal specifically with juvenile sex offenders. Psychologists are becoming more optimistic in the treatment of sex offenders. “First, they believe that the most effective interventions, or treatment methods, are those that follow the principles of risk, need, and responsivity (RNR). ” (Bartol & Bartol, 2011, Pg 403).
Other treatment which appears to be successful is cognitive behavioral therapy which shapes the behavior as well as thinking pattern in offenders. This therapy teaches juveniles on their thinking pattern on some situation and how that can influence their actions in some situations. “Cognitive behavior therapy argues that maladaptive sexual behaviors are learned according to the same rules as normal sexual behavior, by means of classical and/or instrumental conditioning, modeling, reinforcement, generalization, and punishment. ” (Bartol & Bartol, 2011, Pg 404).
A great deal of studies suggests that cognitive behavior therapy appears to be the best treatment in reducing recidivism amongst juvenile delinquents whether this include sexual offences or any other type of offences. Juveniles who complete a cognitive-behavioral program are less likely to commit sexual or any re-offenses than are juveniles who do not receive treatment, receive an alternative treatment, or do not complete treatment. (Przybylski, 2008, Pg 53). Multisystemic therapy (MST) is also a successful treatment approach for serious juvenile offenders.
This therapy option addresses the cognitive and systemic factors such as family, peers, as well as school which are associated with risk factors. The juvenile, counselor as well as the family work together. In a study conducted, “The data showed that MST participants had significantly lower recidivism rates at follow-up than did those participants who received individual therapy (50% vs. 81%, respectively). Recidivism, depending on the study, refers to re-arrest, reconviction, or incarceration after an initial juvenile arrest, conviction, or incarceration. (Bartol & Bartol, 2011, Pg 168). In North Carolina, there is a successful intervention program called Sexual Abuse Intervention Services. This program is located at Barium Spring. This program offers, This program offers, psychosexual evaluation (Sex Offense Specific Evaluation), in-home family therapy, weekly sex offense specific group therapy, individual therapy, individualized safety plans in the home, school and community, case management—coordinating and monitoring services, ongoing consultation with juvenile court counselors to monitor client’s reatment progress and status in the home/community, family reunification when appropriate, step-down services for clients who are transitioning back into the community from residential placement. (Foster, 2013). This program believes in treating juvenile sex offenders to reduce recidivism. The program appears to be successful for the fact that many juvenile sex offender clients at a local group home attended this program and none of them have reoffended. Unfortunately, there is no data available.
Juvenile Crime Statistics Different states have different statistics on juvenile offenders. In 2009, 1,906,600 juveniles were arrested for various types of crimes in the United States. During that year, there were 722,000 youths in Arizona, 1,096,000 in Michigan, and 971,900 youths in North Carolina. (Puzzanchera, Adams, & Kang, 2012). In that same year, Arizona had 52,062 juveniles arrested for various crimes; Michigan had 36,643 juvenile arrested and North Carolina had 48,634 for various crimes.
Statistics indicate that in Arizona, 1,366 juveniles were arrested for violent crimes including rape, robbery and aggravated assault and 11,181 were arrested for property crimes including burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, arson as well as many others. In Michigan there were 2,136 juveniles arrested for violent crimes and 10,993 were arrested for property crimes. North Carolina statistics show that 2,483 juveniles were arrested for violent crimes and 12,766 were arrested for property crime. (Puzzanchera, Adams, & Kang, 2012).
The arrest rate in juveniles has steadily decreased from the 1990’s through present time in Arizona, Michigan and North Carolina. Society would agree that this decrease in crime is beneficial to every person in the community. Arizona, Michigan and North Carolina juvenile arrests consist of every race including White, Black, Indian, Asian, Hispanic, as well as many others. Not one particular race committed any acts of violence, but instead all races. For instance, in Arizona, 10,259 White juveniles committed violent crimes and 34,070 committed property crimes. ,465 Black juveniles committed violent crimes and 3,191 committed property crimes including drug charges. 5,016 Hispanic juveniles committed violent crimes and 15,388 committed property crimes. (Halliday, 2011). In Michigan, violent crime data indicates that nine Black juveniles committed murders and one White committed murder. 476 black juveniles were arrested for aggravated assault, 418 arrests for White juveniles, and 12 arrests of Hispanic juveniles. (Elam, Siemon & Fitzpatrick, 2012).
As for robbery in Michigan, 384 were Black juveniles, whereas 39 were White and six were Hispanic juveniles. Property crimes such as larceny show that 3,131 arrests were White juveniles, 2,241 arrests were Black juveniles and 151 were Hispanic juveniles. (Elam, Siemon & Fitzpatrick, 2012). For burglary crimes, there were 630 arrests of White juveniles, 651 arrests of Black juveniles and 29 arrests of Hispanic juveniles. In North Carolina, the statistics are different than Arizona as well as Michigan. The state of North Carolina analyzes their data according to class felonies.
For instance, in 2009 the juvenile arrest rate for Black juveniles with a class A-E felony which includes, murder, rape, sexual assault, manslaughter, drug crimes, sexual battery, robbery as well as others was 485 juveniles. (NCDJJ, 2010). There were 226 White juveniles convicted of a class A-E felony and 28 Hispanic. In the class F-I felony which includes property crimes, the data indicated 4,816 Black juveniles were arrested, 2,837 White juveniles were arrested as well as 1,670 Hispanics were arrested. (NCDJJ, 2010).
Males along with females both account for crimes committed on adult as well as juvenile levels. Numerous people believe that males make up arrest statistics, but females contribute to these arrests. For instance, in the state of Arizona, 16,943 females were arrested in 2009. 34,659 juvenile males were arrested that same year. The female juveniles accounted for 4,611 violent crimes and 12,332 property crimes. 7,804 arrests were made for violent crimes amongst males and 26, 855 for property crimes. (Halliday, 2011).
In Michigan, juvenile females accounted for 6,484 arrests in 2009. Male arrest rates were much higher at 14,814. (Elam, Siemon & Fitzpatrick, 2012). “The number of arrests statewide decreased for both male and female juveniles between 2005 and 2009, with violent crimes by females decreasing more slightly than violent crimes by males. ” (Elam, Siemon & Fitzpatrick, 2012, Pg 43). In 2009, there were 2,734 juvenile females arrested for larceny theft as well as 2,894 juvenile males arrested for larceny theft.
Unfortunately, there was no data available for juvenile gender arrests except that all arrests made were 75% male juveniles. (NCDJJ, 2010). Different states have different age ranges on who commits an act of violence. Unfortunately, not all states have data on the age ranges for youths such as Arizona. In Michigan, for instance, 86 percent of arrests for sex offences were between the ages of 13 through 16. (Elam, Siemon & Fitzpatrick, 2012). In 2009, juveniles between the age of seven through 10, 276 were arrested which represented 1. percent of total arrests that year. (Elam, Siemon & Fitzpatrick, 2012). In North Carolina, 3. 11 undisciplined rates per 1,000 between the ages of six to 17 were arrested. The delinquent Rate per 1,000 between the ages of six to 15 was 29. 14 in 2009. (NCDJJ, 2010). State Treatment Every state has different treatment options for juveniles. Most states offer teen courts for juvenile delinquents. For instance, in Arizona, “Teen Court hears the matter and determines an appropriate, constructive consequence, using established guidelines. (Starky, 2012). These constructive consequences range from community service hours, restitution, a letter of apology, counseling, tutoring, research papers, educational classes, skill-building classes, as well as a few others. Arizona also offers early intervention programs such as Court Unified Truancy Suppression Program, Families in Need of Services, Drug Diversion Program, as well as School Safety Program. The state of Michigan also tries early intervention as well as treatment programs for their juvenile delinquents.
For instance, Michigan currently has three rehabilitation facilities which focus on therapy as well as specialized treatment programs. Unfortunately, Michigan cut their budget on treatment facilities from 2000 which had approximately 10 facilities. This state offers early intervention programs one in particular called Juvenile Accountability Block Grants JABG program. This programs mission is to “Reduce juvenile offending through accountability-based programs focused on juvenile offenders and the juvenile justice system. ” (DHS, 2013).
North Carolina also prefers treatment instead of punishment. “The Division offers services for youth by establishing and maintaining a seamless comprehensive juvenile justice system that promotes juvenile delinquency prevention, intervention and treatment. ” (NCDPS, 2012). North Carolina juvenile justice system focuses to strengthen families, promote delinquency prevention, support core social institutions, intervene immediately and effectively when delinquent behavior occurs and identify and control the small group of serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offenders in the local communities. NCDPS, 2012). North Carolina offers many facilities for juveniles around the state and a great deal of these facilities includes crime specific treatment. When juveniles are adjudicated and once they are released they may continue on the same path and commit other crimes. Often times, juveniles will continue with this circle and end up back in juvenile detention centers or on probation. The Arizona Department of Juvenile corrections had a 12 month recidivism rate of 34. 1percent for juveniles released during 2008.
The number dropped from 2006 which indicated there was a 48 percent recidivism rate. (ADJC, 2010). In Michigan, the recidivism rate measured by a felony conviction was 22 percent at two years after release during 2004. The number dropped from the previous year at 24 percent. “Recidivism rates were higher for minority youths than for white youths. ” (MDHS, 2013). In 2004 in North Carolina, the recidivism rate for juvenile delinquents was 26. 7 percent. (Beck, Calhoun, Hevener & Katzenelson, 2007). Arizona appears to have the highest recidivism rate in all three states. Theories
There is no exact evidence which addresses juvenile delinquency but a mixture of biological, psychological and sociological. The biological theory explains that physical attributes as well as heredity may lead a juvenile to commit crimes. “Biological explanations of behavior focus on biological properties of an individual, including the individual’s genetic background, structural damage in the brain, or the role of various chemicals in the nervous system. ” (Wilson, 2012, Sec 1. 5). Heredity also plays a major role in behavior and criminal actions are believed to have run down in the family. Hereditary explanations of causation hold that criminality in some families is hereditary, and that deviance is genetically encoded in those born into the family group. ” (Martin, 2005, Pg 76). Research believes that hormones may have an impact on people committing crimes such as higher testosterone. “Studies find that men with high levels of testosterone are more likely to be aggressive. More importantly, studies find that hormones can impact the brain, making individuals less sensitive to stimuli, so they in turn seek out more thrilling situations to stimulate their brain. (Listwan, 2013, Sec 3. 4). Another indicator could include the environment the juvenile resides. Environment can play a crucial role such a brain development, depression, anxiety, aggression as well as hyperactivity. Numerous people believe that the environment plays a significant role on behavior which can be stemmed from parents raising their children. “Criminals and delinquents are stimulated (reinforced) by their environment to continue acting out defiantly until they are punished in some manner. ” (Martin, 2005, Pg 81).
With this being said, when a juvenile is rewarded for their deviance, and receive no punishment or treatment for breaking the law, they will continue to do so until they are adjudicated. Psychological theory which is also the personality theory suggests that there is a relationship between crime and personality. “Juvenile delinquents and adult criminals are, according to psychoanalytic theory, persons without sufficiently developed egos and superegos. If the moralistic superego is weak, a person can easily act out on his or her primal urges without remorse (an unchecked id), and mislabel deviance as acceptable behavior. (Martin, 2005, Pg 80). Another theory under the psychological theory is the conditioning theory. This portion explains that a person’s future behavior is conditioned by his or her past experiences. The interrelationships between individuals, socioeconomic groups, social processes, and societal structures are known as the sociological theory. It is believes that a lower living class has a higher crime rate. “The UCR shows that there is a class crime relationship, meaning crime rates are higher among those who are lower in class areas. (Listwan, 2013, Sec 3. 5). For instance, in many lower class areas, parents work to support their family, thus in return youths do not have any supervision. The youths in light of the freedom, tend to get into trouble. For instance, in Gladwin County in Michigan indicates this is the one of Michigan’s counties with the highest number of juvenile poverty rate which is over 29 percent. This county also has the state’s highest juvenile arrest rate. With this being said, socioeconomic considerations have an impact on the influences in juvenile delinquency.
Treatment There are many treatment options for juveniles which have become readily available. The best type of treatment option would be early intervention. Youths should start young in learning to control their behavior as well as take responsibility for their actions. Numerous people will look at juvenile delinquents and give up on their treatment. They may think that he or she is past the point of rehabilitation. A beneficial program that parents should incorporate in their daily lives is called the Incredible Years Series (IYS) Program.
This program not only works for children who display behavioral or conduct disorders, but also for other children. This program is geared towards children between the ages of two through ten. “The Incredible Years Parents, Teachers, and Children Training Series, is designed to prevent, reduce, and treat conduct problems among children ages 2 to 10 and to increase their social competence. ” (Wilson, 2000, Pg 1). Some goals to reduce conduct problems in children include decreasing negative behaviors and noncompliance with parents at home, decreasing peer aggression and disruptive behaviors in the classroom.
Other goals include promoting social, emotional, and academic competence in children such as increasing children’s social skills, increasing children’s understanding of feelings, increasing children’s conflict management skills and decrease negative attributions, as well as increasing academic engagement, school readiness, and cooperation with teachers. “A substantial body of research has clearly shown that young children with early-onset behavioral problems are at significantly greater risk of having severe antisocial difficulties, academic underachievement, school dropout, violence, and drug abuse in adolescence and adulthood. (Webster-Stratton & Herman, 2010). With this program, all children can have a crime free future. Conclusion In conclusion, treatment options are the ideal way to deal with juvenile delinquency. There are many attributes which take place in dealing with punishment or treatment for juvenile offenders. Most research suggests that treatment is the best options and helps reduce recidivism rate. For juvenile sex offenders, specific treatment helps reduce the likelihood of recidivism especially with cognitive behavior therapy.
There are also numerous programs such as the one in North Carolina which deals directly with juvenile sex offenders. The program has a good turn around rate with the local group home facility. Every state has different data, and while comparing this data opens a person’s eyes as to the crime rate in their community. When people observe this data it gives them an incentive to get out in the community and help these juvenile delinquents. Even though Arizona has the least amount of juvenile arrests, this state has the highest recidivism rate amongst Arizona, Michigan as well as North Carolina.
When trying to pin point on why a juvenile acts out, biological, psychological and sociological theories all play a major role. The reasoning can be from heredity, personality, environment as well as socioeconomic considerations. There are many early intervention programs readily available for youths as well as juvenile delinquents which have already committed a crime. Parent should begin to take an initiative in their children life at an early age to stop the deviant behavior in the future. After all, these children are our future. References: Alexander, M. A. (1999).
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