Free «Proposal: Juvenile Delinquency» UK Essay Sample
The problem of juvenile delinquency is especially acute and urgent in the modern economic and social conditions. The experts from various fields have expressed dismay at the degradation of the younger generation, which has not yet begun to live but deprived itself of the prospects of finding its rightful place in the society. In this connection, the prevention of wrongful behavior of adolescents is of special importance. Juveniles are among the most vulnerable social groups that can be easily subjected to the negative effects from the adult population, which often leads to the following consequences: disturbed mental development, various forms of pathologies such as drug addiction, alcoholism and violence (Burfeind & Bartusch, 2011). Such influence can result in irreversible consequences because juvenile delinquency often leads to recurring crime. Therefore, it is imperative to propose a set of preventive measures that will allow assisting the intervention of the adolescent offenders before they graduate into the criminal justice system.
Prior to the development of the preventive measures, it is necessary to define the factors that cause delinquent behavior. In general, they can be divided into biological and social ones. While mentioning the biological factors, it should be noted that juvenile delinquency has a number of specific features that distinguish it from adult crime. First of all, it is a feature of age. In particular, the process of the development of the youth’s mind faces three peaks of aggressiveness and stubbornness, which coincide with periods of age crises: from 2 to 4 years of age, from 7 to 8 years and 14 to 17 years (Siegel & Welsh, 2014). Moreover, the adolescence is always considered a period of transition. It is primarily human puberty, characterized by hyperactivity of an individual in all spheres. At the beginning of this period, teenagers come to realize that they belong to a particular gender and become interested in the people of th opposite sex. A certain change in moral values and attitude also occurs. The adolescence is full of various contradictions for the people sprouting from their childhood, and although it is quite short, it largely determines the rest of their life (Pal, 2011).
The social factors can be divided into the following groups: macro and micro factors. The first group includes the society in which one lives, including its history, cultural traditions, moral and ethical values, political and economic problems. The second group is the immediate surroundings of a person, especially family, friends, colleagues at school and work and others (Siegel & Welsh, 2014).
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Therefore, the formation of criminal motivation is influenced by a range of factors. Without the knowledge of these factors, it is not appropriate to talk about the measures of juvenile delinquency prevention.
The most important step in the prevention of juvenile delinquency is to take early measures. They are focused on the elimination of significant violations of normal living conditions and education of minors, improper adjustment of personality development at the initial stage, as well as the normalization of the environmental conditions of life and parenting for the teens belonging to specific social groups (Siegel & Welsh, 2014). Early prevention of juvenile delinquency has to be viewed on the two levels: the family and the educational institution.
The preventive actions to improve the situation in the family should be conducted in the following sequence: the identification of dysfunctional families, the diagnosis of the family trouble, the implementation of preventive measures to normalize the climate in the family and the establishment of administrative and legal measures to influence the parents willfully violating their child-rearing responsibilities (Springer & Roberts, 2011). In order to identify families with the signs of distress, it may be useful to conduct school surveys, for both adolescents and their parents (close relatives) with the help of teachers, educators and others specialists trained for this purpose. In order to develop the questionnaires for the surveys, it is advisable to involve experts, such as psychologists, teachers, lawyers, social workers, sociologists and others.
While planning preventive measures, it is necessary to analyze the factors that underlie the family trouble. If an adverse family environment is formed due to objective reasons, for example, due to a long and serious illness of parents, their employment, long trips, poor housing conditions, the assistance, in particular, may consist in entrusting the teenagers to a boarding school or group of day care and the improvement of housing conditions (Kim, 2008). For the families that experience financial difficulties, are incomplete or have many children, it is necessary to provide the material assistance (food, clothing and funding) in the required amounts. Finally, if the parents willingly neglect their duties, it is possible to take legal administrative or criminal action against them, with the punishment up to the termination of their parental rights.
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Preventive measures to normalize the situation in a dysfunctional family suggest the implementation of various methods of legal, social, educational, medical and psychological assistance. The elimination of adverse effects of the family on the adolescent should be comprehensive, combining persuasion, coercion and assistance (Kim, 2008).
The next level of the early prevention is that of the educational institution, which was selected as the educational institution is a minor one of the main spheres of life, in which on a level with the family the formation of the youths’ personalities, moral and psychological basis of their behavior takes place (Pal, 2011).
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