Juvenile crime, while on the rise and a real concern, has its origins in societal issues.
For the most part, juvenile crime is considered to be criminal acts that are carried out by minors, and while we seem to “get” why adults commit crimes, it’s harder to figure out why juveniles do. This means society is at a loss for what the causes seem to be and therefore, what to do about this type of crime.
Most often the types of crimes juveniles (teens) are involved in involve drug use, illegal drug sales, bullying, vandalism, assault and battery, and gang violence. Evidently statistics show there are a number of possible factors that would encourage teens to commit crimes; e.g. drugs present in the teens environment, domestic violence, family alcohol problems, and dysfunctional families.
If there is violence at home, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that what teens see at home will be repeated on the streets. This is normal behavior for them and they have nothing to compare. If firearms happen to be in the home, this kicks the risk factor up another notch. Add into the mixture all the gratuitous violence in the media and there is a recipe for disaster.
Politicians are often pressured to make a difference in the juvenile crime rate: to stop it, to deal with gang violence and the drug problems. The difficulty is, most programs that exist today to deal with “juvies” are programs that kick in after an offense has taken place. There is nothing effective that deals with at risk youth prior to them offending.
Generally speaking juvenile crime starts at home, which then makes this whole issue one that needs to be addressed by society as a whole. Where to start remains the burning question of the day, with rumblings that youth need a suitable alternative to gangs. What those alternatives may be remains vague. In the meantime, juvenile crime continues to be an issue, and attorneys who deal with this area of the law strive to do the best they can for their clients.
If ever there is doubt about how to proceed when a youth has been charged with a crime, make it an immediate point to contact a highly skilled juvenile attorney and find out what rights the youth has in the criminal justice system.