Essay Juvenile Delinquency

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Juvenile Delinquency

Amy Cowan

CRJ 422

Prof. Angela Hermosillo

November 15, 2010

Juvenile Delinquency

Introduction Can we as a society truly reduce the rate of juvenile crime and violence? “Throughout all time there has been delinquency. It may not have had the delinquency label, but it still existed. Juvenile crime is mentioned as far back as ancient Sumeria and Hammurabi, where laws concerning juvenile offenders first appear in written form” (Rice, 1995, ¶ 3). To this day juvenile delinquency is looked upon as one of the most imperative concerns in crime. A number of studies have been performed concerning delinquency. Countless developments and strategies have presented the
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The classical theory focuses on free will. Most classical theories “both old and new, make certain basic assumptions” (Schmalleger, 2009, p. 81). For example, it is believed humans have the ability to make their own choices, and that pain as well as pleasure is the two key aspects of human behavior. Classical scholars believe preventing crime is probable with quick and assured penalties. However, to be effective, the punishment must outweigh the satisfaction obtained from the criminal conduct (Schmalleger, 2009). Biological theories suggest an individual’s behavior is genetically based, and that criminal behavior may perhaps be passed on from generation to generation. They believe it possible to identify criminals through genetic makeup. Biological theorists consider treatment to be ineffective. However, it is thought aggression could be usefully redirected (Schmalleger, 2009). Psychobiological theorist feel that a person’s “DNA, environmental contaminates, nutrition, hormones, physical trauma, and body chemistry play important and interwoven roles in producing human cognition, feeling, and behavior –including crime” (Schmalleger, 2009, p.80). These theorists feel that by adjusting an individual’s chemical makeup, the potential for crime would be greatly reduced. However, psychological theories suggest that
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