Youth Crime

Youth crime, also known as juvenile delinquency, is the illegal acts of a minor, commonly under the age of seventeen. Any illegal act in itself is necessary cause for concern, but youth crime is an immediate concern for authorities, as incorrect behavior at a young age can influence a lifestyle to mimic and follow through with it. Many law enforcement authorities seek to help aid in the prevention of youth crime, and in recent years, it has declined as much as 36%, stated by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Whether it’s vandalisation, underage drinking or drug use, robbery, or murder, the attempts to prevent these youth crimes is critical.

Preventing Youth Crime

While it’s not possible to avoid all risk of juvenile delinquency, there are precautionary measures which can be taken by parents, friends, associates, and family members of troubled youth.

  • Provide a stable and safe environment. Troubled youth who live in poverty and come from unwelcoming homes are more likely to partake in delinquency. Regardless of financial standing, it’s important that the youth know that they are welcomed by their family and can find comfort in their support and love.

  • Let them know you are available to talk, or provide them with a counselor, therapist or close friend who is able to as well. Having an outlet where they can discuss their thoughts and frustrations is a healthy way of coping with issues.

  • Find a program or mentorship which offers counseling and mentoring. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a renowned foundation which offers comfort and a safe environment for at-risk youth. It’s been rated as effective in significantly bettering parental and emotional relationships.

  • Do not judge or place blame: If you know an at-risk youth who has done something wrong, do not initially judge and condemn them. Ask them why they did what they did and try to discuss their feelings. Most youth are not fully aware of the effects of psychology behind their actions.

Although there is no concrete way of predicting when and which children will behave in criminal ways, there are many different factors to look to for correlation. Socioeconomic, family history and relationships, academic issues and any past abuse are all risk factors for troubled youth to follow through particularly violent paths. It’s important to handle a situation involving youth crime with integrity and a sincere and well devised attempt to provide prevention at any point.

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