The paper "Juvenile Justice System" is an excellent example of a law research paper.
In definition, juvenile delinquency has been known to refer to the increasing number of children who have been going on the contrary and act in a manner which is seriously not in accordance with the law. In the ordinary, most of these commonplace legal structures and systems within nations have been able to come up with specific measures and procedures through which this kind of notoriety can be dealt with in our societies. For instance, such kind of offenses by children sees them being detained in juvenile centers for detention as well as being taken to correctional centers. There has been an involvement in the youth in crime and hence spurring great conjecture in the society. Current, the rate of recorded youth crime continues to be on the rise hence becoming an outstanding issue within the society. While that takes place, the youth crimes have been noted to be able to attract the greatest attention on the news and conjecture with the politicians.
According to sociologists, the causes of such behavior remain harder to analyze or explain. There are several theories that have been used to explain the facts about juvenile delinquency. The theories fall under three major groups: sociological, psychological and biological. Two major theories include Behavioral Theory and Social Learning Theory. The Social Learning Theory explains how the learning experience of human beings is a progressive interaction of the environmental, behavioral and cognitive factors. According to the theory, behavior and modeling are very crucial because the child observes what is happening around him and start imitating the behavior of the people living around him (Siegel & Welsh, 2008).
For example, playing games and extensive exposure to media violence can negatively impact on the behavior of a child who frequently watches televised violent shows. This occurs through direct learning from what is happening around the child. Social Learning Theory explains how the learning process takes place from the simple process of imitating activities done by others. This theory is particularly dependent on how an individual will accept and conform to mores, laws, and rules of society. The positive environment within the community and home will result in better child development and vice-versa. The theory means that a child will become less delinquent when placed in a positive environment.
The second is the Behavioral Theory studied by Skinner and Watson. The theory describes the eventual outcomes of the developments of a given practice and repetition of the same behavior later in a child’s life. For instance, operant conditioning is a good learning method showing how a given form of behavior can be decreased or increased by the use of punishment or reinforcement. Positive reinforcement will result in better behavioral changes due to the effect of positive conditioning (Siegel & Welsh, 2008). According to this theory, positive and negative reinforcements definitely strength a given behavior portrayed by a child. Behaviorists believe punishment is a powerful method towards operant conditioning to make children less delinquent. Punishment helps reduce chances of acting in a given manner. Therefore we can say that behavioral theory would refer to a form of conditioning which results in a different pattern of children offenders.
Looking at the Social Learning Theory, a child will definitely become violent when exposed to violent games and television shows. As well, exposure to drugs and gangsters will make a child more violent because he/she will be attempted to behave in a similar manner. The poor upbringing of a child can also expose him to violent incidences which make it likely for the child to imitate such behaviors. The child will become violent and even commit crime at a tender age (Siegel & Welsh, 2008). The best preventive method promoted by the theory includes placing the child in a conducive and favorable environment where he cannot imitate any violent forms of behavior. A good example is the Church. The main role of religion is to guide and the results can be noted later in the child’s life. Parents should make sure their child is exposed to the right materials and the right company.
The Behavioral Theory explains how a given behavior can be discouraged or encouraged through operant conditioning. A child may steal something during early childhood. If the child is encouraged to do so, chances are high that the child will become a thief in the future. The child will be progressively discouraged from the practice by punishing him. Therefore juvenile delinquency based on the theory can be prevented by the use of appropriate reinforcements. These reinforcements should be applied depending on the behavior shown by the child. Appropriate mentoring is also needed to ensure the child has been encouraged to behave positively. The factors contributing to child delinquency are varied and many; they are interwoven in every reported case (Siegel & Welsh, 2008). There is no single theory that can clearly explain the nature of the circumstances and conditions producing the vice. As well, there is no single preventive approach capable of reducing the rate of juvenile delinquency. It is therefore to base these programs upon different theoretical approaches for different cases of child delinquency.
Siegel, J. & Welsh, C. (2008). Juvenile Delinquency: theory, practice and law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.