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Teenagers and Crime

By: Bryant Garcia


Bryant Garcia
Professor Drew Moren
Criminal Justice
November 2, 2014
Teenagers and Crime
Teenagers involved with crimes is an issue that has affected the United States for
many years and is still a problem in modern times within certain societies . A teenage crime
is a term used for delinquents who break the law and are under the age of eighteen. Back in
the day about 20% of crimes were committed by teens under eighteen , this percentage has
risen dramatically and continues to rise even today . The most common law breaking crimes
by teenagers are gang related , assault, robbery, and in some cases murder . The rising crime
rates that are available to the public on teen violence just proves that the system the United
states is using is not working and we need to work together to figure out solution and
alternatives for modern day complications .
Ever since the 1900s , crime has risen substantially. Within this last decade , young
teens have recently started to commit more serious crimes . Crimes that were once only
committed by older adults , now are being shared with younger crowds both male and female .
The juvenile court system is not perfect , it lacks a constant manner of disposition . It also
does the best it can for the state and the juveniles within it . Although just because they try,


does not mean they will always succeed. Only through mistakes can a nation grow wiser and
To go more into detail , Juvenile delinquency is a word that is often used to describe
an underage individual who commits crimes . According to the law , a juvenile delinquent is a
teen that has not yet reached his or her eighteenth birthday . If he or she surpassed that age ,
then they would have adult responsibilities and consequences that come along with it .
Although just because a person is underage, they can be tried in adult courts depending on
the type of crime they commit . Thus, receiving the same punishments as adults , like adult
prisons, jails and charges . Some see this as unfair and cruel but it creates a safer environment
for all.
Although, there are many problems and contradictions when it comes to children
being treated as adults. Due to recent studies, it is believed that children around the age of
fourteen have the same comprehension skills as adults. Also they obtain the ability to make
competent decisions . Nevertheless, others studies show that a young individual cannot truly
understand the difference between right and wrong without going through years of
experience and challenges . With these facts , it is unfair to treat or hold a teen at the same
level as an adult .
There are many reasons why teenagers choose to make wrong decision that will
forever affect their lives . Yes, the teenager is at fault for the decision that may get him or her
in trouble. Although, there are certain things that pushed or influenced that individual to
make bad choices. Stuff like unscrupulous living conditions , family related issues , social


media, society, and school peers . All these topics effect a teenager physically and mentally ,
whether they realize it or not . Teens need structure , rules, activities and most importantly
communication . Structure so teens can make the right decision , rules to keep the peace, and
planned out activities so that they can stray away from negative people and dangerous
environments . Communication works best if the teen respects the individual and there is a
sense of security. The teen needs to view that person as a trust worthy being and role model .
With the right type of role model , a teen can strive for better and aim hire . Which will better
their future.
Bad living conditions can make a teenager not want to be home , which leaves him or
her no choice but to be on the streets or hang out around a bad crowd . Family related
problems effect teens emotionally, which causes them frustration and anger . This frustration
and anger is then transferred into trouble making or crime committing acts of distress . Social
media can influence a teens decision on how to act out or view society. An individuals
peers can push a person to make irrational decisions . Most crimes are committed because a
persons so called friends had in some way influenced that individual . Nobody wants to be
seen as weak , little or scared but peer pressure is tough to deal with . Especially if it is
experienced through alone.
A juveniles behavior may have a lot to do with how the teen carries him or herself
and reacts to certain situations . Teenagers are full of curiosity and generally tend to push or
surpass boundaries . Since teens are more impulsive than adults and children , they are more
likely to participate in risky behavior . At the same time they are less likely to come to terms


with the consequences of their actions that will affect them in the near future. With that
being said, adolescents tend to respond to peer pressure more than adults and do not always
handle it in the most professional manner . Among teens , there is a strong desire for approval
from other peers and acceptance from everyone around them . Which may at time may cause
them to commit crimes .
Drug and alcohol use are closely tied to juvenile crime . When adolescents use drugs
or drink alcohol , it affect his or her judgment. Teens who are regular users are most likely to
commit crimes with a higher violent rate . Also they have a higher percentage of getting in an
accident and becoming victims of a crime due to their negligence . Whether or not a teenager
does something dangerous , drinking and using drugs is still illegal . The teen can face
multiple issues and charges .
Crimes like assault are considered an act of creating a difficult situation or harm to
another being. Theft is the motion of taking another individual property without their consent
or permission , with the intentions of depriving the owner from their possessions . Gang
related crimes occur within a group of people with the intentions to do harm to others in
order to receive power and respect . Murder is taking a life and by no means acceptable and is
punishable by law . These four topics are considered to be the most law breaking acts among
adolescents and are in need of the most attention . If the government could put more focus of
these topics, change would surely come about.
If a teenager decides to keep living a life of crime , the consequences can be dire . A
clean record is no laughing matter and must be taken seriously . In modern society, a clean


record is crucial and ultimately permanent until the minor is deceased . The highest paying
jobs today, require an individual to be smart , responsible and reliable . If an individual has a
bad record, the employer has already judged that person before they have even had a chance
to get acquainted . There are certain jobs whereas if any type of crime is committed , that
person is no longer qualified to be or become employed . Hence, the problem is clear .
Keeping a clean record all depends on the decisions a person makes and the actions they
decide to come forward with . Teens need to be more responsible for their actions and set
high goals.
In conclusion , the decisions young adults make today, can and will affect them in the
future. It is important to realize this fact early on so that a crime related issue is not relevant
to an individuals life . It is true that some records can be erased when a teen reaches
adulthood, other more serious crimes will not . Serious criminal activity on record can affect
the way a person lives , works, sleep and plans for future activities . The best solutions to help
a teen have a bright future filled with possibilities and opportunities is simply staying away
from anything crime related . Participating in healthy activities , such as clubs , sports, school
projects, and volunteer work can make a big difference and benefits everyone involved .


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