When adolescents commit crimes or are accused of an offense, they automatically become labeled criminals, delinquents, and deviants in the eyes of the courts, of the state, and of various people. However, is it fair to label them as such? When a status offense such as curfew, vandalism, or even disorderly conduct, is committed, the child should not be labeled a delinquent. The term delinquent should only be used if the child is a chronic offender of the same or different crime, or when the offense is more serious like murder or arson. Yet, because society is so narrow minded, a status offender will still be treated as a delinquent because technically a crime was committed that was still brought to a juvenile court or an official such as a judge, magistrate, or police officer.Order now
In addition, because the offender is given some type of discipline, individuals believe that this in fact, is why a status offender should be treated as a delinquent and be called one as well. There are many behaviors that should be called delinquency. Mainly, criminal offenses should be given more attention than status offenses. For example, murder, rape, and arson are types of behaviors that need to be addressed immediately and treated as delinquent acts because of the severity of the crime. Furthermore, status offenses such as curfew, fighting, and running away are behaviors that should not be called delinquency because they are acts committed as part of growing up and usually ones that do not harm the well being of society.
In addition, these behaviors of delinquency should be measured by the severity of the crime. For instance, official and unofficial crime statistics are appropriate forms of measures. The Uniform Crime Report is probably the best measure of delinquency because these entail crimes that are known to the police, crimes cleared by arrest, and juveniles arrested. In addition, Juvenile Court Statistics are useful because this report focuses on the cases brought to juvenile court, the services provided by juvenile court, and the effectiveness of the services to prevent delinquency. However, when forms of delinquency are measured by unofficial methods like self-report studies, these are not useful because when people are asked about their own law-breaking behavior, very few adolescents or delinquents will be honest. Many individuals may embellish the truth, while others will not tell the entire truth and leave many important details out.
When delinquency is measured this way, many of the findings will be biased and false information will be published as well. In short, official crime statistics that are measured with documented proof are better forms of delinquency measures than unofficial crime statistics. In conclusion, delinquency is a serious issue in today’s society. Even though some statistics show that crime has gone down in some areas, it is still a major problem in many other areas.
To illustrate, statistics show that “27 million offenses were reported to the police (Regoli 52) and of all persons arrested, 18 percent were juveniles (36). ” In addition, it seems that juveniles are now committing more criminal offenses such as murder, aggravated assault, and weapon possession which show delinquency to be more serious now than it was a few years ago. In brief, serious delinquency is an issue that needs to be given more attention because of children’s ever changing behavior from good to bad to worse. Juveniles are being charged with more serious crimes and the only solution society seems to have is to lock them up and hope that they will reform themselves. However, until juveniles can be included in the process of coming to a solution to help themselves, delinquency will always be a prevalent problem in an ever-changing society such as this one.