Free «Young People and Crime» Essay

Young People and Crime

It is known that crime among young people is an urgent problem in the modern world. When we talk about the youth today, we usually speak of a variety of problems: the spiritual impoverishment and social apathy, the aggravation of health and unemployment, the loss of interest in political life, the growth of crime and drug addiction, etc. According to the statistics that was posted by Mark Duell on Mail Online (2011),”Almost one in three American teenagers and young adults have been arrested by the age of 23 for anything from drug use to violent crime”. This statistics is horrific. This paper examines the main reasons why young people commit crimes at such an early age and what should be done to prevent it.

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It is worthy to stress that the process of experience accumulation takes place in adolescence and early adulthood. This is the period of personality formation. According to the National Community Crime Prevention Programme, “Adolescence and early adulthood are crucial times in an individual's life. It is when young people face new challenges, learn new skills and coping mechanisms, and lead more independent lives”. This crime among young people compared with adults has a high degree of activity and dynamism. Unfortunately, the crime rate among young people is increasing with years. Juvenile delinquency traditionally attracts the attention of scholars and practitioners of law enforcement agencies for many reasons. Juvenile delinquency is a complex of crimes committed by underage persons. According to the Center of Social and Educational Research (2007), “Many of the challenges now facing teenagers are linked to their physical, sexual and emotional development, dealing with relationships and defining who they are and what they want” (p. 98).

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A characteristic feature of juvenile crimes is violence and cruelty. As practice shows, juveniles often commit crimes in the form of response to the acts of violence of the society and parents who are threatening children. Due to this, there should be taken all legal means to combat violence against children and adolescents. Due to certain circumstances, adolescents often commit such crimes as murder, grave bodily harm, and robbery. There are two major factors that may lead to committing crime by the youth: alcoholism and drug addiction. What is more, the number of crimes committed by juveniles with mental disabilities is also increasing. It includes various types of neuroses, mental debility, psychopathy, alcoholism, and sexual disorders.

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Equally important factors in crime tendencies among young people are the inability to find a job, get education, and disadvantaged families. Thus, the major causes of juvenile delinquency can be family breakdowns, child abuse, and the violation of the inalienable rights of children to receive education and live in normal conditions; as a result, children leave their homes. Causes and conditions of juvenile delinquency as well as crime in general are of social nature. They primarily depend on the specific historical conditions of society, the content and direction of its institutions, and the spirit and methods of solving the basic contradictions. Many teens try to prove their relatives that they are capable of earning their living, and they are trying to assert themselves resorting to criminal activity.

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Juvenile delinquency often is highly latent, and some studies show that even before the first conviction teens have already committed crimes. It creates an atmosphere of impunity. Punishment is the most important means of preventing criminal behavior. What else should be done to prevent crime among youth?

Primarily, we should limit the impact of negative social factors related to the causes and conditions of juvenile delinquency. Secondly, the causes and conditions that contribute to this type of crime should be dealt with. Thirdly, there should be a direct impact on minors who are capable to commit a crime. Fourthly, we should limit the impact of the groups that are antisocially oriented and capable to commit a crime. Juvenile penal colonies also occupy a special place among the main subjects of juvenile crimes prevention. These institutions face the challenge of crime prevention in a particular way: by reforming and re-educating the minors.

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In conclusion, the measures of combating juvenile delinquency are based on the activities of social nature to ensure the adequate standard of living, welfare, culture, upbringing, and education of citizens. All these factors allow to prevent child neglect as well as vagrancy of children and adolescents. The crime among young people is one of the most critical challenges of the 21st century. Unfortunately, the crime level is increasing with years. However, we can prevent this problem by paying more attention to our children; we must take more care, love them, and try to help and support our children in every situation. Parents should be more careful in child-rearing, because human consciousness is formed at an early age. They should help a teenager to find his/her place in life, understand his/her desires and interests, give the opportunity to develop his/her personality so that to prevent crime in many ways. One more important factor is that the government should enable the younger generation to develop, get education, and find jobs. We create the atmosphere for our families and friends that must be conciliative; therefore, the crime rate among young people will be much lower.

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