Children who exhibit characteristics that might indicate a potential for delinquency later in life should focus on early childhood crime prevention initiatives. A thorough intervention program can be most successful when a child is young. Early infancy is a susceptible period for children as their brains develop, and they learn the importance of virtues such as honesty, thoughtfulness, and love from their parents or other caregivers. Sometimes a parent sets a poor example for their children and unintentionally instills the incorrect values in them. Perhaps the caregiver never learned how to educate their children to be contributing members of the communities by encouraging, loving, and healthily correcting them. However, a new perspective may be developed when it becomes evident that the young teenager may grow up to be a criminal and that public funds will be used to pay for the jail term, judges, attorneys, and several appeals. Juvenile delinquency significantly harms several social groups by impacting the neighborhood, families, people, and everyone else who lives in that specific society; thus, early prevention can be the modest way to curb this.
Factors Influencing Delinquent Behavior
The public’s understanding of violent crimes involving youngsters who committed terrible atrocities has fueled an increase in social anxiety about juvenile offenders. Children who commit crimes before age 13 are considerably more likely to become violent, hostile, and repeat juvenile offenders. Youth criminality frequently causes community worry, and lowering the behavior is a political and social objective. In the past ten years, the focus has shifted from locking up young people to stressing early detection of children at risk and early Prevention (Hanrath & Font, 2020). Diagnosing behavioral difficulties early on and implementing early treatments have become crucial components of juvenile care. Early identification of at-risk kids may help keep fewer kids from becoming caught up in the juvenile court system, increasing public safety.
Most learned behaviors start as early as six when a youngster watches his parents or other primary caregivers and then imitates that behavior. Since a kid is most susceptible between the ages of one and six, their early experiences are critical to their brain development and long-term health (Koning, 2021). The child is deprived of the secure and loving environment they need to grow and develop emotionally and cognitively when their early years are filled with chaos, neglect, abuse, rejection, and instability. To develop into responsible adults with a healthy capacity for giving and receiving love, children need to establish dependable emotional bonds with attentive caretakers. Negative features and attributes ingrained in a child from birth might manifest as impending criminal tendencies if they are not given a healthy, caring childhood.
Although indicators might lead to more criminal activity, it is impossible to forecast which children will behave in a delinquent manner in the future. An abusive or violent household, high-risk pregnancies, fetal alcohol syndrome, illegal substance use while pregnant, intoxicated, and aggressive conduct are all risk factors. In addition, risk factors that may lead to criminal behavior include having violent parents and siblings, having a large family, living in substandard housing, and having poor educational aspirations. These specific risk factors may contribute to homicidal behavior in children who have experienced sexual molestation or physical abuse (Lucas, 2018). A snowball effect might occur if you are exposed to several risk factors. Sadly, Tran’s generational rejection and abuse are frequently observed.
Ethical Concerns in Early Intervention
Targeting children and their families for early intervention screening and prevention raises ethical concerns in the eyes of some public health experts since it puts them at risk for potential adverse outcomes from an intervention. The child and their families could be branded and labeled, or they might adversely affect their character development. Research suggests that early intervention before a kid engages in risky conduct is not essential since the youngster may outgrow these signs (Pabst et al., 2018). Children’s and young people’s needs may collide with public safety goals.
Early intervention programs can provide the groundwork for preventing delinquent conduct in early childhood and into adulthood. Developmental criminology has demonstrated that children with behavioral issues are likely to go down the wrong road unless early intervention is made in the child’s life. In a report, the Southern Education Foundation (SEF) reported that effective juvenile justice system education reduces recidivism and the number of children who would require future incarceration. For children in Tampa, Florida, which has one of the worst rates of poverty and violence, the University Area Community Development Corporation (UACDC) offers chances for homework help, music classes, crafts, and technology after school (Utari, 2019). For young people with juvenile justice matters, they also provide counseling services. Because many of these children would not receive this help at home, this program is essential for at-risk youngsters. Various taxes compensate for the costs; therefore, the residents of this area with a high crime rate and low income do not pay anything. These kinds of initiatives are required to stop these young people from becoming statistics and getting lost in the criminal justice system, only to end themselves behind bars as adults.
Over the years, academics have discovered intervention tactics and program models that support pro-social growth and minimize crime. The most effective and effective adolescent delinquency prevention programs are those that do this. For instance, home visitation programs concentrate on teenage mothers and their at-risk newborns, and preschool instruction for at-risk children incorporates home visits or parent involvement. Drug use, delinquency, antisocial conduct, and early school dropout will all be prevented through school-based initiatives. Programs run out of the community can assist keep first-time offenders from committing further crimes and getting more engaged in the legal system (Utari, 2019). A thriving community program will motivate families to participate and give training to the people who watch and discipline their children. Most preventative programs concentrate on late childhood and adolescence, which might cause them to lose a chance to act far earlier in the lives of younger children.
An examination of criminology, psychology, and education literature revealed that significant early childhood factors are related to antisocial or delinquent behavior when considered later in a child’s life. However, early childhood prevention programs will help to lessen these factors and help to prevent later antisocial or delinquent behavior. The analysis also focuses on initiatives that have been shown to reduce antisocial behavior and delinquency over the long term and initiatives that promote early childhood education and a variety of child and family risk factors for neglect. The reduction of delinquency’s effects on children and families has been demonstrated through programs that integrate family and societal support with early education.
Addressing poverty and other environmental determinants of crime should be one component of a holistic approach. As a result, preventative programs are required to avoid juvenile delinquency. These programs should motivate parents, schools, and the community to engage with children and young people to prevent or minimize juvenile delinquency from beginning too early. However, several hypotheses attempt to explain why young people commit juvenile crimes (Walters, 2020). Most studies agree that living in a high-poverty, high-crime area increases the likelihood that all children growing up there will participate in serious crime. The early foundation of the child directly influences whether they succeed or fail in the future. There is a higher likelihood that these young people will wind up in jail as adults if they are not given priority for early intervention.
Hillsborough County (HC) Commissioner Kevin Beckner formed a community committee in 2009 that includes members from the NAACP, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office1and 3th Circuit Court. The outstanding group saw that Hillsborough County was failing to strategically address crime prevention, which they understood needed to start in early life. According to studies, children who grow up in chaotic, unstable homes with shattered parent-child interactions are more likely to experience emotional instability, turn into juvenile offenders, and eventually become career criminals (Walters, 2020). Hillsborough County is attempting to reach these young people before they become juvenile offenders.
Theories Relating to Juvenile Delinquency
Economists, psychologists, and sociologists hold different beliefs about people and human behavior, and these divergent viewpoints influence what each discipline believes to be the root cause of adolescent conduct. The economic theory, often referred to as the Classical hypothesis, was the first juvenile delinquency theory. According to the traditional idea, children are logical, intellectual beings with the capacity for free will. Because they are sensible and clever, young people consider their options before engaging in certain conduct. Instead of respecting the law, they think about what they may gain by disobeying it. For instance, children and young adults who skip school consider the enjoyment they will have rather than the risk of being found (Wright, 2017). Similar to adults, young people who commit severe crimes scrutinize their choices before deciding whether to risk being caught, facing legal action, being found guilty, and doing time in jail. Juveniles may be held accountable for their actions since they consciously choose their conduct, which has repercussions.
Comprehensive evidence-based examinations, diversion programs, and early intervention for nonviolent juvenile offenders have been demonstrated in studies to reduce juvenile criminality. Miami-Dade is one of the Florida counties that have proven this. These initiatives save tax funds that may be used for youth development initiatives, education, and other community-building projects (Wright, 2017). There five-point implementation plan for early childhood intervention. The primary goal is to limit nonviolent teenage engagement with the criminal justice system while improving and preserving the children’s and community members’ safety. Second, provide at-risk children and their families with a wide range of holistic and comprehensive programs to support the development and maintenance of more vital family units. Thirdly, give early intervention and Prevention top priority while developing comprehensive, in-depth care for adolescents who are at risk. Lastly, create affordable services for organizations and providers influencing juvenile justice.
Effects of Juvenile Delinquency
Juvenile delinquency is a serious issue that impacts not only the people victimized by the offenders but also the offenders themselves, their relatives, and the wider community. Although juvenile offenders cannot foresee the consequences of their actions, these acts significantly negatively impact them. Most of the time, these crimes result in adolescents losing their freedom since they may be sentenced to probation or even imprisonment. The fact that they will miss academic events while on probation or in jail has a detrimental impact on their educational wellness. If the young person is detained in a residential facility, they could be influenced by older, more seasoned juvenile offenders in certain situations (“Juvenile Delinquency: A Radical Approach,” 2009). These factors make it more probable that the juvenile will face the penalties for reoffending.
Being in a family with a juvenile offender can occasionally traumatize the other members, leading to upheaval and a sense of unease. The family must deal with the troubled teen’s requirements and raise legal bills. The victims of the delinquent also have an ethical imperative to the family. Families must attend counseling sessions for the offender, which, at most, is costly and disruptive. Drug usage, gang membership, and sexual activity are all intimately associated with juvenile criminality. These things all harm the neighborhood by making it unsafe, and they also require the government to spend enormous sums of money on law enforcement and safety measures in schools.
Although juvenile justice has come a long way in the last twenty years in the order of a more encouraging route, more work has to be done to keep children out of jail. Contrary to what researchers claim, early intervention proponents say there is no evidence acting on behalf of at-risk children presents an ethical problem. In the Tampa Bay Area, outreach programs for at-risk children and teens are supported through efforts totaling millions of dollars. Juvenile criminality cannot be solved with money alone; strategic services for children and families must be implemented via public policies and laws. Programs that provide comprehensive care for at-risk adolescents, including family members, have had positive results. Bad behavior is less likely to occur when these risk factors are reduced. The aim of bettering lives is considerably more advantageous, and one of its outcomes is expected to be a decline in crime rates. The issue affects politicians, the government, the police, social organizations, teachers, and religious groups; thus, early intervention should be implemented to reduce the impacts.
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Koning, A. (2021). Public perceptions of child sexual exploitation abroad: A vignette experiment on the influence of social distance. Crime & Delinquency, 128-647. Web.
Lucas, G. (2018). Juvenile delinquency. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 47(3), 1-191. Web.
Pabst, C., Kuester, E., & Salzmann, D. (2018). The federal initiative for early Prevention: Implementation of early prevention services. European Journal of Public Health, 28(suppl_4), 23-67. Web.
Utari, I. (2019). Prevention of child delinquency with social control: Criminology study of deviant child behavior trends in the community. Social Sciences, 1-32. Web.
Walters, G. (2020). Parental control as a stimulus for youth control: Mediating the parental knowledge–child delinquency relationship with cognitive impulsivity. Crime & Delinquency, 67(5), 717-736. Web.
Wright, K. (2017). Inventing the ‘normal’ child. History of the Human Sciences, 30(5), 46-67. Web.