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Juvenile delinquency, also known as "juvenile offending", is participation in illegal behavior

by minors (juveniles, i.e. individuals younger than the statutory age of majority).
Characteristics of Juvenile delinquency:
Of the published works, eight studies by Ruthonsha (1947), R.K. Singh (1948), Hansa Sheth (1960),
B.K. Bhattacharya (1962), A.D. Attar (1964), Sushil Chandra (1967), S.C.Verma (1969), and Harjeet
S. Sandhu (1977) and three studies by the Government of India (1952, 1954 and 1970) are
considered to be more significant.
On the basis of these studies and on the basis of data compiled by National Crime Records Bureau, 1998,
following characteristics of juvenile delinquency in India may be given:
1. The delinquency rates are many times higher for boys than girls, that is, girls commit fewer
delinquencies than boys. The percentage involvement of girls in juvenile delinquency up to 1987 was
about 6-7 per cent. This suddenly increased to 13.4 per cent in 1988 due to a change in the definition of
juveniles, by which girls in the age group of 7-18 years only were considered as juveniles.
2. The delinquency rates tend to be highest during early adolescence (12-16 years age group). After
the new definition of the age of juvenile delinquency in 1988, if we calculate the average of ten years from
1988 to 1998, about three-fifth delinquents (61.0%) fall in this age group of 12-16 years.
Earlier (between 1978 and 1987), it was observed that a large number of delinquents (71%) belonged to
18-21 years (late adolescence) age group, 15 per cent belonged to 16-18 years age group, 9 per cent to
12-16 years age group, and 5 per cent to 7-12 years age group.
3. Juvenile delinquency is more an urban than a rural phenomenon. The metropolitan cities like
Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad and Bangalore produce more juvenile
delinquents than small cities and towns.If we take 23 metropolitan cities in India, of the 1,981
delinquents apprehended under the IPC in 1998 in these 23 cities, about three-fifths (62.3%) committed
crimes in six cities (Bombay: 9.1%, Delhi: 17.5%, Indore: 8.8%, Jaipur: 13.7%, Nagpur: 5.9%, and Pune:
7.3%) (Crime in India, 1998: 253).
4. Children living with parents and guardians are found to be more involved in the juvenile
crimes. At the time of arrest, about three-fourths (73%) of the delinquents were found living with their
parents, about one-fourth (22%) with their guardians, and about one-twentieth (5%) were homeless
(1998: 256). This shows the role of family environment in juvenile delinquency.
5. Low education background is the prime attribute of delinquency. About two-fifths (38.1%) of the
juveniles are illiterate, two-fifths (39.3%) are primary passed, one-fifth (18.5%) are middle and
secondary passed, and a very small number (4.1%) is educated up to the high school level and above
(1998: 256). Thus, most delinquents come from illiterate and less educated families.
6. Poor economic background is another important characteristic of juvenile delinquency in India.
About half (52%) of the delinquents come from homes with an income of less than Rs. 500 per month
(i.e., destitute and very poor classes), about one-fourth (27%) from homes with income between Rs. 501
and Rs. 1,000 per month (i.e., poor classes), about one-tenth (14%) from homes with income between Rs.
1,001 and Rs. 2,000 per month (i.e., lower-middle class), and a very small number (5%) from homes with
income between Rs. 2,001 and Rs. 3,000 per month (i.e., lower-middle class) or with income above Rs.
3,000 per month (2%) (i.e., middle-middle class) ,this shows that juvenile delinquency is more a lowerclass phenomenon.
7. Nine out of 10 juvenile delinquents are first-offenders and only one-tenth is recidivists or pastoffenders. The 1998 figures show that 89 per cent were new offenders (ibid. 257). The number of total
juveniles apprehended between 1988 and 1998 has gradually declined every year. From about 38,000
(IPC + SLL) in 1988, the number declined to about 30,000 (29,591) in 1991 and about 19,000 (18,964) in
1998 (ibid. 246).
8. Not many delinquencies are committed in groups. In the United States, Shaw and McKay in their
study found that 90 per cent children had companions in their delinquencies. In India, it appears, a large
number of delinquencies are committed all alone.

9. Though some delinquencies are committed in groups yet the number of juvenile gangs having support
of organised adult criminals is not large in our country.
Classification of Juvenile Delinquents
Juvenile delinquents have been classified by different scholars on different bases.
For example, Hirsh (1937) has classified them in six groups on the basis of the kinds of offences
(1) incorrigibility (for example, keeping late hours, disobedience, etc.),
(2) truancy (staying away from school),
(3) larceny (ranging from petty theft to armed robbery),
(4) destruction of property (including both public and private property),
(5) violence (against community by using weapons), and (6) sex offences (ranging from
homosexuality to rape).
Eaton and Polk (1969) have also classified delinquents into five groups according to the type of offence.
The offences are: (1) minor violations (including disorderly conduct and minor traffic violations), (2)
major violations (including automobile thefts), (3) property violations, (4) addiction (including
alcoholism and drug addiction), and (5) bodily harm (including homicide).
Robert Trojanowicz (1973: 59) has classified delinquents as accidental, unsocialised, aggressive,
occasional, professional and gang-organised.
Psychologists have classified juvenile delinquents on the basis of their individual traits or the
psychological dynamics of their personality into four groups: mentally defective, psychotic, neurotic and
Types of Juvenile Delinquency:

Factors in juvenile delinquency

Researchers generally agree that a number of factors play an important part in a youngster's
delinquencies. We may divide these factors into two groups: individual factors and situational factors.

The former include personality traits like submissiveness, defiance, hostility, impulsiveness, feeling of
insecurity, fear, lack of self-control, emotional conflict, etc., while the latter may be subdivided into five
1. Family,
2. Companions,
3. School Environment,
4. Movies, And
5. Work Environment.
Many theorists consider family as the most significant factor in the development of juvenile delinquency.
Class status, peer group relations, class mobility, etc., are also directly or indirectly related to the family
Psychological theorists like Irving Kaufman (1959: 15), Sidney Burman (1964: 142), August
Aichhorn (1969: 16), etc., relate the causation of delinquency to early childhood experiences, emotional
deprivations, child-rearing processes, etc., which influence the formation of the personality and the
development of attitudes, values, and life-style.
The abnormal expression of behaviour expressed in an anti-social form, is the result of these factors
according to psychologists.
Whereas the psychologist is concerned with the identification of individual variables, such as motivation,
drives, values, and needs, the sociologist is concerned more with the social environment, the factors in
the social system, and the functioning of the institutions that affect delinquency. Thus, the psychologists
focus on internal control and the sociologists focus on external control.
Family environment producing delinquent behaviour may be analysed with reference to a broken home,
family tension, parental rejection, parental control, and family economics.
A normal family, according to Carr, is described as one which is structurally complete (with both parents
alive), functionally adequate (each member performing his expected role which reduces conflicts),
economically secure (gratifying important needs of the members) and morally strong (each member
conforming to the moral values of the family/social culture). The family is abnormal if it lacks any of
these characteristics.
The broken family (where one parent is absent because of parental separation, divorce or death) fails to
provide affection and control to the children.
Sheldon and Glueck (1968: 12) found in their study of delinquents and non-delinquents that more than
half of the delinquents studied were reared by one parent, whereas only 10 per cent of the nondelinquents were reared by one parent.
Monahan (1957: 250-58), Browning (1960: 37-44), Gold Martin, Slocum and Stone (1965), and Peterson
and Becker (1965) also found that a significantly greater number of delinquents than non-delinquents
were from broken homes.
Family tension is also a major contributing factor to delinquent behaviour. Abrahamsen (1960: 43) found
that family tension results from hostility, hatred, etc. The youngster does not feel secure and content in
the tension-filled family environment.
Long-term tension reduces family cohesiveness and affects the parents' ability to provide a conducive
atmosphere to satisfactory childrearing and family problem-solving.
McCord's and Zola (1959) also found that cohesive homes produce fewer delinquents whereas homes
where tension and hostility exist are good breeding grounds for future delinquents.
Gluck's (1968: 8) found that one in three delinquent families, as compared with one in seven nondelinquent families, was disrupted when one of the parents left the family because of a tension-filled and
quarrelsome relationship.
Parental rejection or emotional deprivation has much to do with juvenile delinquency. If a rejected or
neglected child does not find love and affection as well as support and supervision at home, he will often
join groups of a deviant nature outside the family.

Studies have found that mutual rejection of parent and child markedly affects positive relationship and
can ultimately result in delinquent behaviour.
Jenkins (1957: 528-37) found that parental rejection had a direct effect on the child's development and
growth of conscience.
He averred that lack of adequate conscience, combined with feelings of hostility for being rejected, led to
aggression. Andry (1960: 64) also has maintained that delinquents were recipients of less parental love
both in quantity and in quality than were non-delinquents.
Just as a broken home, family tension and parental rejection can affect the capability of the family
structure, methods of parental control or forms of discipline also can play a part in the development of
delinquent behaviour. The type of discipline enforced by parents in rearing children varies from situation
to situation and from child to child.
An authoritarian approach to discipline affects the child in his peer group relationships as the child will
not be able to interact freely with his peers. Conversely, rather lenient discipline will not provide the
child with the necessary controls to guide his behaviour.
Unfair or partial discipline fails to form an adequate conscience in the child, prevents the adults from
serving as a model to be imitated by the child, and reduces the adolescent's wish to avoid hurting parents
and delinquent behaviour.
Gluecks (1968: 15-16) found that parents of delinquents used physical punishment more than verbal
discussion. Both parents were less consistent in their disciplinary measures than were the parents of
If the methods of disciplining are classified as love-oriented discipline, punitive discipline, lax discipline,
and erratic discipline (punitive and lax), the last three types can be related to delinquency.
Emotional instability and behavioural disturbances in one or both of parents also lead to a child's
delinquent behaviour. A child of the parents who are constantly in conflict often exploits the situation and
gets away with a great deal of misbehaviour.
Lastly, family economics is also an important contributing variable in delinquency. A family's inability to
provide for the material needs of the child can create insecurity and affect the amount of control that the
family exerts over the child, because he often seeks material support and security outside the home.
Peterson and Becker (1965) have pointed out that the homes of delinquents are often physically
deteriorated which can affect a delinquent's perception of himself and can act as a repellent, driving him
away from the home.
It should, however, be pointed out that economic status and material possessions do not explain middle
and upper class delinquency. The economic condition of the family can be one of many contributing
factors in a multi-problem family.
The impact of neighbourhood on the child is greater in urban areas than in rural areas. After the family,
the child spends a good part of the day in the company of children in his neighbourhood. The
neighbourhood can contribute to delinquency by blocking basic personality needs, engendering culture
conflicts, and fostering anti-social values.
On the other hand, it can supplement the influence of the home in the maintenance of social values.
Congested neighbourhoods with inadequate recreation facilities deny the natural play impulses of
children and encourage the formation of delinquent gangs. Picture houses, cheap hotels, video-halls, etc.
in neighbourhood become breeding places of vice and delinquency.
Cinema and Pornographic Literature
Movies and story books featuring immorality, smoking, drinking and brutality leave a strong impression
on the young minds of children and adolescents. Many a time, they teach techniques of crime and
delinquency. Several children are arrested in different parts of our country for using cinema techniques
to commit thefts, burglaries and kidnapping, etc.
They claimed to have seen such procedures in the movies. These movies also develop attitudes conducive
to delinquent behaviour by arousing desires for easy money, suggesting questionable methods for their

achievement, inducing a spirit of toughness and adventurousness, arousing sexual desires, and by
invoking day-dreaming.
Sociology of juvenile delinquency
The major sociological theorists who have contributed to the criminological knowledge of delinquency
are Merton, Frederick Thrasher, Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay, George Herbert Mead, Albert Cohen,
Cloward and Ohlin, Walter Miller, and David Matza. Since we have described their theories in detail in the
preceding chapter, we may only briefly summarise them here for ready reference.
Merton's Anomie Theory (1938: 672-82) is that when there is a discrepancy between the
institutionalised means that are available within the environment and the goals that individuals have
learnt to aspire for in their environment, strain or frustration is produced and norms break down and
deviant behaviour may result.
Merton, thus, does not discuss individual motivational factors in deviance, (that is, in selecting one of the
five alternative modes of behaviour suggested by him) or he fails to explain why all persons in similar
situations do not choose deviance.
Frederick Thrasher's Gang Theory (1936: 381) concentrates on group delinquency and explains positive
peer influence as Cohen's, Cloward's, and Miller's theories did later on. Thrasher does not say that the
gang is a cause of delinquency but he says that gang facilitates delinquency.
Explaining the process whereby a group takes on certain behavioural characteristics and then transmits
them to its members, he says that a gang originates during the adolescent years from spontaneous play
groups and conflict with other groups, transforms it into a gang for protecting its members' rights and
satisfying the needs which their environment and their family could not provide.
Gradually, the gang develops distinct characteristics such as a mode of operation, and disseminates
criminal techniques, excites mutual interests and attitudes and provides protection to its members.
Thrasher emphasised the point that not all gang activities were necessarily devious and that much of the
gang members' time was spent in normal athletic activities as well as in other teenage endeavours. His
thesis, thus, mainly describes how environmental pressure is conducive to delinquent behaviour.
Shaw and McKay's Cultural Transmission Theory (1931: 386) holds that delinquency is transmitted
through personal and group contacts and that lack of effective social control agencies contributes to the
high incidence of delinquency in some parts of the large cities.
The 'delinquency areas' are the low income and physically deteriorated areas whose members suffer
from economic deprivations.
Furthermore, the boys in these areas are not necessarily disorganised, maladjusted or anti-social. It is the
exposure to delinquency traditions present in these areas which makes them delinquents. But for this
exposure, they would have found their satisfaction in activities other than delinquency.
Those persons who are left behind as a result of these processes comprise the lower-class. They develop
a distinct pattern of behaviour (which is not necessarily reactive against any other class) based on
distinctive (lower-class) traits like toughness, smartness, excitement, fate, autonomy. The street group
provides the lower-class adolescent boy an opportunity to act tough and become involved in masculine
Many of his activities, thus, revolve round his desire to become a 'real man'. The major criticism of
Miller's theory is that today with mass communication, it is difficult to believe that the distinct lowerclass culture, which Miller describes, can exist in such a pure form. Lower-class is bound to be influenced
by the other classes.
David Matza's Delinquency and Drift Theory (1964: 11) rejects the deterministic orientation of the
positive school that delinquent behaviour is caused almost entirely by emotional and environmental
Matza feels that man is neither totally free (as the classical school assumes) nor is he totally constrained
(as the positive school assumes), but he is somewhere between being controlled and being free.
Drift stands midway between freedom and control. A youngster, therefore, drifts between criminal and
conventional action. Even though most of a youngster's activities are law-abiding, he can periodically

drift into delinquency because the normal conventional controls that usually inhibit delinquent
behaviour become neutralised as a result of the drifting process.
Once he indulges in delinquency, he drifts back to conventionality. Matza, thus, emphasises the 'will to
crime'. It is this 'will' which explains why some youngsters choose delinquent behaviour while most of
their peers within the same environment choose socially acceptable modes of adaptation.
He also explains why delinquency is not an 'either-or' proposition. Most youngsters exist somewhere
along the continuum between convention and crime. Total commitment to delinquency is uncommon.
If we now take all the sociological theories of juvenile delinquency together, it may be said that all
sociologists have placed emphasis on environment, social structures, and on the learning process unlike
the psychologists who consider the individual and his motivational patterns important in delinquency.
The few quotations included are merely illustrative of the points in question, and were chosen because of
their apparent truth rather than their authoritative source.
I. Physical Factors.
4. Psychoneuroses.
1. Malnutrition.
2. Lack of sleep.
emotional instability).
3. Developmental aberrations.
6. Abnormalities of instinct and emotion.
4. Sensory defects.
7. Uneven mental development.
5. Speech defects.
8. Obsessive imagery and imagination.
6. Endocrine disorders.
9. Mental conflicts.
7. Deformities.
10. Repression and substitution.
8. Nervous diseases.
11. Inferiority complex.
9. Other ailments.
12. Introversion and egocentrism.
10. Physical exuberance.
13. Revengefulness (get-even complex).
11. Drug addiction.
14. Suggestibility.
12. Effect of weather.
15. Contra-suggestibility.
16. Lethargy and laziness.
II. Mental Factors.
17. Adolescent emotional instability.
1. Mental defect.
18. Sex habits and experiences.
2. Superior intelligence.
19. Habit and association.
3. Psychoses.
II. Home Conditions.
1. Unsanitary conditions.
2. Material deficiencies.
3. Excess in material things.
4. Poverty and unemployment.
5. Broken homes.
6. Mental and physical abnormalities of parents, or siblings.
7. Immoral and delinquent parents.
8. Ill-treatment by foster parents, step-parents, or guardians.
9. Stigma of illegitimacy.
10. Lack of parental care and affection.
11. Lack of confidence and frankness between parents and children.
12. Deficient and misdirected discipline.
13. Unhappy relationship with siblings.
14. Bad example.
15. Foreign birth or parentage.
16. "Superior" education of children.
IV. School Conditions.
1. Inadequate school building and equipment.

2. Inadequate facilities for recreation.

3. Rigid and inelastic school system, "the goose-step."
4. Poor attendance laws and lax enforcement.
5. Wrong grading.
6. Unsatisfactory teacher.
7. Undesirable attitude of pupil towards teacher.
8. Bad school companions and codes of morals.
V. Neighborhood Conditions.
1. Lack of recreational facilities.
2. Congested neighborhood and slums.
3. Disreputable morals of the district.
4. Proximity of luxury and wealth.
5. Influence of gangs and gang codes.
6. Loneliness, lack of social outlets.
7. Overstimulating movies and Shows.
VI. Occupational Conditions.
1. Irregular occupation.
2. Occupational misfit.
3. Spare time and idleness.
4. Truancy.
5. Factory influences.
6. Monotony and restraint.
7. Decline in the apprenticeship system

Juvenile Delinquency Prevention

By Law
By correction method/ Therapies

By Imprisonment

The most effective way to prevent juvenile delinquency has indisputably been to assist children and their
families early on. Numerous state programs attempt early intervention, and federal funding for
community initiatives has allowed independent groups to tackle the problem in new ways. The most
effective programs for juvenile delinquency prevention share the following key components:
Model programs have assisted families and children by providing them with information. Some programs
inform parents on how to raise healthy children; some teach children about the effects of drugs, gangs,
sex, and weapons; and others aim to express to youth the innate worth they and all others have. All of
these programs provide youths with the awareness that their actions have consequences. This is
particularly important in an era where youth are barraged with sexual and violent images. Educational
programs have the underlying intent of encouraging hope and opening up opportunities for young

One of the immediate benefits of recreational activities is that they fill unsupervised after-school hours.
The Department of Education has reported that youths are most likely to commit crimes between 2 p.m.
and 8 p.m., with crime rates peaking at 3 p.m. Recreation programs allow youths to connect with other
adults and children in the community. Such positive friendships may assist children in later years. Youth
programs are designed to fit the personalities and skills of different children and may include sports,
dancing, music, rock climbing, drama, karate, bowling, art, and other activities.
Community Involvement
Girl scouts, boy scouts, church youth groups, and volunteer groups all involve youth within a community.
Involvement in community groups provide youth with an opportunity to interact in a safe social
Prenatal and Infancy Home Visitation by Nurses
Nurses involved in the "Prenatal and Infancy Home Visitation by Nurses" program pay visits to low
income, single mothers between their third trimester and the second year of their child's life. During
these visits, nurses focus on the health of the mother and child, the support relationships in the mother's
life, and the enrollment of the mother and child in Health and Human Services programs. A 15-year
follow-up study found that mothers and children involved in the program had had a 79 percent lower
child abuse rate, a 56 percent lower child runaway rate, and a 56 percent lower child arrest rate.
Maternal behavior problems also dropped significantly in the studied group.
Parent-Child Interaction Training Program
The "Parent-Child Integration Training Program" takes parents and children approximately 12 weeks to
complete. It is designed to teach parenting skills to parents of children ages two to seven who exhibit
major behavioral problems. The program places parents and children in interactive situations. A
therapist guides the parents, educating them on how best to respond to their child's behavior, whether
positive or negative. The program has been shown to reduce hyperactivity, attention deficit, aggression,
and anxious behavior in children.
Functional Family Therapy (FFT)
The Functional Family Therapy program helps adolescents on probation - and their families. A family
therapist works with the family and helps individual family members see how they can positively
motivate change in their home. The program works in three phases. During the first phase, the therapist
attempts to break down resistance to therapy and encourages the family to believe that negative
communication and interaction patterns can be changed. In the second phase, family members are taught
new ways to approach day-to-day situations; they are shown how to change their behaviors and
responses to situations. During the third phase, family members are encouraged to move new relational
skills into other social situations (school, or the workplace, for instance). FFT reduces recidivism rates
and juvenile delinquency at a low cost. Twelve FFT sessions cost approximately one-sixth the cost of
detaining a youth for one month. Another positive effect of the program is that the siblings of the youth
on parole are less likely to commit crimes because of the help their family has received.
Ineffective Prevention Strategies
Scare Tactics

Currently, Americans are steering away from this tactic, as it has proven rather ineffective, but during the
1990s it was a technique that politicians and the greater community put much confidence in. Slogans
such as "get tough on crime" and "adult time for adult crime" spoke to the common-sense core of many
people who worried about rising juvenile crime rates. The basic ideology centered on the idea that
crime rates were high because youth were not afraid of facing juvenile detention. General opinion held
that the system had become too soft; the threat of confinement was not deterring youth from criminal
Several major shifts occurred during this time:
Juvenile courts gave increased jurisdiction to adult, criminal courts. Courts authorized easier
transfers of juveniles into the adult criminal court and, in some states, waived their authority over
specified crimes.
Youths were sent to adult prisons in increased numbers. Younger offenders were sent to adult
prisons as states tightened their definition of who was a child, and more court decisions placed youth in
adult confinement.
Youths were issued longer prison sentences in the adult system than they would have been given
in the juvenile justice system. Most of those sentenced, however, were not required to serve the full
length of their prison terms.
The harsher penalties that came with the era of hard-time scare tactics were intended to lower crime
rates and to express to youth that crime would not be tolerated. These penalties, however, did not
achieve their intended effects. The approach was grounded in the idea that youth could be managed
through fear. But fear was not a forceful impetus to motivate youth toward positive behavior. No direct
correlation was witnessed between harsher sentencing and fewer first-time arrests, and youth that had
been placed in the adult system actually had a higher recidivism rate than similar juveniles placed in
juvenile detention facilities.
"Juvenile Boot Camp" and "Scared Straight"
In the years that "get tough on crime" policies were being established, various new programs were also
attempted. One such program, Juvenile Boot Camp, received high publicity but had little success. "At risk"
youth were placed into intense, structured, severe environments that were modeled after military boot
camps. The Juvenile Boot Camps were intended to teach youth about structure and discipline but their
success rates, which were measured based on their ability to prevent kids from committing future crimes,
were low. For some youth, the programs were actually counter-productive. Another program, "Scared
Straight," brought parole/probation youth into interactions with adult prisoners through meetings or
short-term incarcerations. The program was designed to make young offenders frightened of the violent
adult prison system. According to the Surgeon General at the time, the program was not effective.

Effects of Juvenile Delinquency

Effects on the Juvenile Delinquent

The juvenile who commits a crime also suffers effects that he or she is probably unable to predict. He or
she may lose his or her freedom while in probation. The juvenile may lose ground academically as well.
Although placement in residential detention centers for juveniles may be appropriate consequences for
the adolescent's criminal actions, it also puts him or her in relationships with other delinquents, who may
be more sophisticated or influential. This makes recidivism likely and, in many states, when a juvenile
older than 14 becomes a repeat offender, he or she can be tried and sentenced as an adult. The
delinquency may even have future consequences on the adolescent's college and career choices.
Effects on the Families
The upheaval and trauma of having a family member who is a juvenile delinquent can create instability
for the other relatives. Not only does the family have to cope with the needs of the child who is in trouble,
but they may also have to raise large amounts of money to pay for lawyers. In addition, the family has to
face the ethical issues of responsibility to the victims of the child's crime. Families must usually attend
group-counseling sessions, which can be disruptive and costly during the time when the child is in
detention or on probation.
Effects on the Community
There is a correlation between juvenile delinquency and drug use, gang involvement, alcohol abuse, and
sexual behavior. All of these issues challenge communities by making neighborhoods unsafe and costing
large amounts of public money to be spent on law enforcement and school safety.
Effects on Society
Young people who commit serious crimes before they are 18 years old challenge the future for everyone
involved. They may be acting out to protest perceived abuses that have been perpetrated against them.
They may believe that there is no future for them outside of a life of crime. They may be expressing anger
or frustration directed against another person or group or looking for approval from a gang. Whatever
the motive, juvenile delinquency affects too many American individuals, families, and communities. It is a
serious problem that challenges the efforts of government agencies, politicians, educators, faith
communities, and nonprofit organizations alike.