Juvenile delinquency, also known as juvenile offending, or youth crime, is participation in illegal behavior by minors (juveniles) (individuals younger than the statutory age of majority).Most legal systems prescribe specific procedures for dealing with juveniles, such as juvenile detention centers, and courts. A juvenile delinquent is a person who is typically under the age of 18 and commits an act that otherwise would have been charged as a crime if they were an adult. Depending on the type and severity of the offense committed, it is possible for persons under 18 to be charged and tried as adults.
In recent years, the average age for first arrest has dropped significantly, and younger boys and girls are committing …show more content…
The study, which appears in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of Genetic Psychology, is the first to establish a statistically significant association between an affinity for antisocial peer groups and a particular variation (called the 10-repeat allele) of the dopamine transporter gene (DAT1).
In recent years however, there has also been a bridging of the gap between sex differences concerning juvenile delinquency. While it is still more common for males to offend then females, the ratio of arrests by sex is one third of what it was 20 years ago (at 2.5 to 1 today). This is most likely due to the combined effects of more females being arrested (for offenses which did not get them arrested before), and a drop in male offenses.
• Racial differences
There is also a significant skew in the racial statistics for juvenile offenders. When considering these statistics, which state that Black and Latino teens are more likely to commit juvenile offenses it is important to keep the following in mind: poverty, or low socio-economic status are large predictors of low parental monitoring, harsh parenting, and association with deviant peer groups, all of which are in turn associated with juvenile offending. The majority of adolescents who live in poverty are racial minorities. Also, minorities who offend, even as adolescents, are more likely to be arrested and punished more harshly by the law if caught.Particularly concerning a