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Juvenile vs. Adult Crime Rates- A Closer Look

by Ladyblogger on July 7, 2013

According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), violent juvenile crimes have dropped 55 percent from their peak in the mid ’90s. However, the arrest rate for violent crimes is still hovering around 255 for every 100,000 citizens between the ages of 10 and 17. Meanwhile, the overall national violent crime rate is at 386, and this indicates that people of all ages are involved in these crimes. Fortunately, the nation has seen a big decline in the violent crime rate for both adults and juveniles over the past 20 years.

Do Juvenile Offenders become Adult Criminals?

Several studies have indicated that no level of punishment will prevent all juvenile offenders from becoming career criminals. However, there is evidence to suggest that treating juveniles as adults will actually make them more likely to become a repeat offender. There are several potential reasons for this, including the fact that being housed with older criminals makes it easier to gain access to an advanced level of crime-related knowledge. Additionally, individuals under the age of 18 are more susceptible to peer pressure, and they might end up committing new crimes when they are released in order to gain acceptance from some of the people they met in prison.

Is the Cycle Inevitable?

Treating young offenders accordingly by placing them in a juvenile facility can help turn the child or teenager’s life around. However, it is important for the offender to receive counseling while they are going through a juvenile program. Additionally, they will need to have a strong support system in place when they are released. After all, an offender of any age who is released without the means to make money legally will easily be tempted back into a life of crime.

Why do Juvenile’s Commit Crimes?

There are just as many reasons for juvenile crime as there are for adult crime, but the motives are often very different. For example, a 25-year-old offender might steal a car because they are broke and plan to sell it for parts. On the other hand, a 16-year-old offender is more likely to steal a car because they want to take a joy ride or have been goaded into it by their so-called friends. However, if the juvenile offender does not receive the proper assistance when they are released, they can quickly turn into an adult who needs to steal in order to pay for food.

Do Scared Straight Programs Work?

For several years, the legal system placed an emphasis on sentencing juveniles like an adult as part of the concept of scaring them straight. As previously mentioned, this has not provided the anticipated results. In fact, many areas are revising their approach to juvenile offenders in the hope that they can be more easily rehabilitated. However, according to www.devorelawoffice.com, Minnesota is one of many states that require juveniles who have been sentenced as an adult to face the same sentencing terms again if they commit another crime.

If your child or teenager has been accused of committing a crime, it is important to hire an attorney who has experience working with the juvenile legal system. With the right legal approach, the young offender might be able to avoid being sentenced as an adult.

Blogger Anthony Joseph enjoys discussing and writing about statistics of young adults in the legal system. Kevin DeVore, at www.devorelawoffice.com, is a fierce attorney who practices in various areas of law. He’s been continuously recognized as a ‘Super Lawyer’ for nine years running, and is well known in the legal field in Minnesotta.

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