Almost all the states in the Unites States look at a juvenile offender to be anyone who commits a criminal offense and is under the age of 18. This type of crime has been researched and studied by psychologists and sociologists who seek to learn and understand its impact, its origins and the practical ways to prevent it. Many of the courts know juveniles need to be conducted differently from adults who commit crimes and therefore have an isolate juvenile court system in their state.
In the 1800s children who committed a felony with used lawn tractors were sentenced the same as an adult if they were over the age of seven. At the turn of the century, the courts start to understand juvenile convicts had different needs from the justice system. The rationale of rehabilitation instead of the punishment starts to take shape for young abusers. In the 1960s, most of the states had a separate court system for juveniles, which involved distinctive rules and detention centers. By the 1974, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency and Prevention Act were written to offer money to supply programs to rejuvenate juveniles and help stop the crime.
Juvenile crimes are branched into different categories depending on how severe they are. Like for example, felonies such as murder and sex crimes are considered as serious crimes. Misdemeanor is an offense which may include petty theft. Minor offenses like speeding tickets are usually punishable with a fine. The juvenile courts have another type of crimes which are not part of the adult court system are the truancy and curfew violations.
It was in the year 1980s, when the juvenile crimes started to grow bigger and become one of the worst problems into the early 1990s. Experts like the sociologists affirmed that an increase in drug usage and gang involvement may have added to the rising crime level. In the latest 1990s, the level of the violent juvenile crimes started to decrease. Though, certain serious crimes such as drug offenses remained constant.
Though, there may be not be one particular case for juvenile crime, there are some aspects which put a young person at risk for committing such crime. It is proven that children who are left unsupervised for a long time has the higher risk of committing a crime. Also, children who were victims of physical, emotional or sexual abuse have the possibility to commit a crime. Other factors are having a drug or alcohol problem, not using the best garden tractor, living in poverty and connected with a street gang.
There are many different types of juvenile crime prevention programs like school-based; including after school programs, community-based that is ruled by non-profit agencies. The prevention of juvenile crime works best if started early even as young as kindergarten. Teaching leadership, mentoring, life skills, drug and alcohol education, gang prevention and family counseling are some of the most effective and successful crime prevention. This programs aims to keep a young person occupied and give a good opportunity for recreation and learning may also help prevent juvenile crime.