Juvenile Delinquency: Prevalence and Prevention

An analysis of the phenomenon of juvenile delinquency and a statistical account of its developments.

A statistical analysis of the incidences of juvenile delinquency according to juvenile arrests. Gender, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity is compared in the prevalence rates. A brief history of the juvenile courts in relation to development and social policy.
“Juvenile delinquency can be defined by numerous definitions implying a wide variety of law-and-norm violating behavior. According to Bartol (1999), juvenile delinquency is defined as “behavior against the criminal code committed by an individual who has not yet reached adulthood”(p. 25). Some states include the definition of juvenile delinquency to include status offenses, that are only applicable to juveniles (persons under the age of 18) and do not involve behavior against the criminal code. Some of these behaviors would include: running away, liquor law violations, and curfew law violations. Additionally, social definitions of juvenile delinquency include aggressive behavior, cruelty to animals, fire setting, dishonesty, truancy, larceny, vandalism, and substance abuse, behaviors that possibly have not come to the attention of law enforcement (Bartol, 1999).”