Juvenile delinquency is a term used to describe illegal actions by a minor. This term is broad in range and can include everything from minor violations like skipping school to more severe crimes such as burglary and violent actions.
Understanding why a minor commits a crime is essential to preventing future crimes from happening. Addressing the issues that has led to the choices that the minor child has made can help them change their actions in the future.
By addressing many of these issues at an early age, adults may be able to stop juvenile delinquency from starting. If delinquency has already occurred, addressing these issues and building protective barriers may allow the child to develop in a more secure environment and avoid problems in the future as well as when they are adults.
Leading Contributing Factors To Delinquency
Poor School Attendance
Poor school attendance is one of the top factors contributing to delinquency. School is not only a place to learn and grow; it is also a structured routine that provides children with a goal to accomplish each day. The routine of getting up, getting prepared, attending school, completing the work, and returning home each day establishes a routine that is a basis for good choices in the future.
Children who are not encouraged to learn this type of routine are losing out on establishing good habits. They are also experiencing a lot of free time that can be used to “learn” about other things that will not enhance their lives or their futures. Failure to accept the routine of attending school actually instills in children that they do not have to comply with societal norms and that they can do as they please.
Poor Educational Standards
The type of school that a child attends may also contribute to their delinquency. Overcrowded and underfunded schools tend to lack discipline and order. The chaos often experienced in these schools lead children to act more defensively because they are scared by their surroundings.
Parental involvement in school work and school based activities has been found to be a very large deterrent for delinquent activities. When an adult is active in the lives of a child, that child is more prone to perform well in school and social surroundings because they know that the adult will see their actions.
Violence In The Home
One of the largest contributing factors to delinquency is violence in the home. Every Tulsa juvenile criminal defense attorney will tell you that when a child is subjected to violence, they are in turn violent people. Lashing out at others for the violence they experience at home is very common.
Children subjected to violent actions, or those who witness it to others, are more likely to act ut their fears and frustrations. They often have a “don’t care” attitude and this allows them to get into trouble more easily.
Violence In Their Social Circles
If the neighborhood is in which a child lives is violent, the children will have a tendency to be more prone to delinquency. Many people describe this as street survival methods because the child gets into trouble as a way to stay out of trouble from area gang members or violent people. In many cases, when you remove the child from this type of situation, their tendency for delinquent actions is removed.
Similar to neighborhood pressures, peer pressure from direct acquaintances can have an effect on how a child reacts to bad situations. If all of their friends are committing delinquent acts, the child may feel pressured to do the same to be accepted.
The best way to avoid this type of situation is to be actively involved with who your child is hanging out with on a regular basis. Know their friends. Know therir friends parents. This not only instills confidence in your child to do the right thing, it can help parents keep their children away from bad influences.
Juvenile delinquency is more common in poorer neighborhoods. While all neighborhoods are not exempt from delinquent activities, it is believed they happen more in areas where children feel they must commit crimes to prosper.
Theft and similar crimes may actually be a result of necessity and not that of just a petty crime. The only true help for this situation is to make sure that children in these areas have access to what they need and understand that they do not have to commit a crime to get ahead in life.
Substance abuse in a home or by the child is a very common cause for delinquency. Children who are exposed to substance abuse often do not have the necessities they need to thrive and are forced to find these necessities in other ways. Others, who become dependent on a substance may also need to commit crimes to sustain their habit.
Counseling and treatment for this type of situation is the only real remedy to help these children. This type of situation can cause their self-worth to deteriorate and allow them to commit acts that they would not otherwise have considered.
Lack Of Moral Guidance
Parental or adult influence is the most important factor in deterring delinquency. When a parent or other adult interacts with the child and shows them what is acceptable behavior and what is considered wrong, the child is more likely to act in a way that is not delinquent.
It is very important for a child to have a bond with a good adult who will influence their actions and show them the difference between what is right and what is wrong.
Even if your child has committed an act of delinquency, their lives are not over. You, as their care giver have the chance to turn around their lives and show them how to change their ways.
It starts with hiring a quality Tulsa juvenile criminal defense attorney so that they can receive a fair trial. Once they have gone through this process, as a care giver, you can begin to change the influences in the child’s life so that they can start fresh and go into adulthood with a clean slate.