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Juvenile offenders

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  • Pages: 11
  • Word count: 2702
  • Category: crime

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Maturation is perhaps one of the greatest milestones for a teenager. Each youth at some point contemplates the life they would live once they “grow up”. However, is growing up associated with actions and perspectives? Or is it associated with an age? If so, how can one determine its validity? What is the rationalization when a child at the threshold of adolescence commits a crime? Does it warrant their sudden “development”, as his actions speak of a loss of innocence, or is it a representation of a youth who is far too young to rationalize their actions, and is thus more of a child than an adult?

Such questions have plagued the judicial system of the country for a long time. In our intricate society it isn’t hard to discover varying feelings toward the way of life of an individual. The trouble in essence lies in the choice of what feeling to consider most appropriate for a unique scenario, such that it preserves the perspective of self, and still offer justice to the stakeholders in the event of a crime committed by a young individual (Elizabeth and Steinberg, 2008).

As per a study conducted by Abella (2016), most youth younger than eighteen years of age have participated in delinquent behavior, but do not understand the consequences of their actions. This is a clear representation of their immaturity, which defines a distinction between adolescence and adulthood for many (Fisher, 2013). Psychologically speaking, the maturity of the decision is based on the rationalization of the activity, which is primarily managed by the frontal lobe of the brain (Elizabeth and Steinberg, 2008).

However, in the context of the youth, this lobe is less developed than the adult brain, which signifies an inability to make “adult like rational decisions”. It is reflected that juveniles do not have the cognitive development unlike adults in the prefrontal cortex area; therefore they are less likely to think before they act. This contributes towards their impulsiveness and reaction on passion, as oppose to pre-meditation (Fisher, 2013).

While physiology continues to be a predominant reason for increased delinquency rate in the country, it is reflected that social pressures and environment continues to uphold a high presence with respect to the increase in the youth based crime rates in the world (Abella, 2016). When studying the reason for the increase in the child delinquency rate, an association with peer pressure can be attributed, which is reflective of the lack of social autonomy in an individual of a certain age group, which further directs them towards illicit activities and substances (Abella, 2016).

As per a review conducted by Nisar, Ullah, Ali and Alam (2015), an increase in the need for acceptability, emotional vulnerability, impulsiveness, lack of parental control in life, social environment and the society at large are all variables which lead to criminal activity in youth. Juvenile behavior is rarely driven by malice or hate. Yet, the lack of rationalization of such actions, alongside the physiological lack of comprehension professes a need to develop frameworks for the rehabilitation of these young delinquents in the judicial system (Mennis, 2011).

Over the years, the juvenile management system has experienced a progression of changes. It has veered away from an informal court process toward a rehabilitation system that provides youth with supervision and guidance. However, there is still a grave need to prepare the children with respect to the future, as well as allow them a standing choice and chance in the world. Along with improving the comprehension of their actions in a desperate attempt to improve the social framework of the society, it also gives the offenders a chance to redeem themselves and continue with a better tomorrow (Fisher, 2013).

In the sense of rehabilitation assessment and management of their problem behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse, counseling, anger management, education and other restorative measures are concluded. For the purpose of this paper, in the sense of rehabilitative aspects of the judicial system-education for these individual is addressed and recommendations for the same are made.

Research problem

The main objective of detainment for juvenile delinquents is to separate them from the public while they improve themselves. This is also ? of a school year for youth in juvenile detention centers. Since there is no preventing or denying the significance of education through out adolescence, by means of education, these detainment places provide growth opportunities to people, and allow them to redeem their existence in a more fruitful manner. Despite the undeniable issues with these children it is a lawful commitment to give them a chance to redeem, and education contribute in this regard (Sabangan, 2011).

Furthermore, by means of education, the customary rehabilitative objectives of the juvenile courts are achieved, which allows the ethical as well as legal aspects of the law to be managed in a judicial setting. In this regard a need to look at the aim of the “No Child Left behind Act (NCLBA)” establishes a standard based education reform, in an attempt to enhance individual results in education. (Abella, 2016). Educational projects furnish youth offenders with aptitudes and, instill within them confidence and prompt that allows them to survive later in life, thus limiting their return to the life of crime (Nasir et al.2015).

Through offering an educational program, teenagers are more likely to accept effective studies that will be beneficial upon release and offer long term re-entry success, as opposed to those who might be devoid of this opportunity. The educational programs expect offenders to learn and comprehend the perils of drugs, abuse, alcohol, anger as well as other triggers, and in the long term help them be analytical of their actions (Fisher, 2013). Juveniles are not completely mindful of the threats of their actions in general.

It is a time of growth, when they are trying to find their identity and set themselves up towards accomplishing their responsibility as an adult. A positive environment at such time can work wonders towards the development of a child, and take them towards growth (Abella, 2016). An association with negative elements will introduce them towards vice such as drugs, sex, alcohol and abuse. Through the means of education and other rehabilitative actions, a youth can be protected from these elements, and they can be guided into positive direction (Ward and Williams, 2015).

Furthermore through their attainment of a positive autonomy, these youth can contribute towards the society, and create a framework of development in a collective sense. Therefore, the juvenile justice system needs to further assess the importance of a juveniles’ right to education. The juvenile justice system needs to acknowledge a lack of standardization in education in rehabilitative detention centers is a major issue.

Most of the time, the education bodies with respect to these institutes are under-funded, there is a restriction with respect to the offices and outside school intervention, which further limits the involvement of supervising agent (Toldson, Woodson, Braithwaite, and Holliday, 2010). Furthermore, amidst this lack of standardization there is no framework to assess the needs of the students, and provide an individual or tailored learning paradigm to them, which continues to impact the outcome of learning for the students.

Often the classrooms are constrained to one educator, which limits the learning situation of the children, who are in need of special attention to begin with (Mennis, 2011). The lack adequate of education in detainment centers is disturbing and need to be addressed, as quality education is a right of all. It must be recognized that through limiting opportunities and education attainment for these students in long run we are pushing them towards social unacceptability, and perhaps a lifetime of crime (Abella, 2016; Nasir et al. 2015).

Tragically, within these educational units as well there are individuals who couldn’t care less about the individual they are assigned to take care of in the first place. As a result, the youth present in these institutes continue to utilize drugs, despise specialist, and take pride in having no limits (Fisher, 2013; Ward and Williams, 2015). Under such circumstances, the present research not only reflect upon the relevance of education for the youth in these detainment centers, but increase in standardization, facilities and training amongst the handlers to improve the outcomes for these delinquents.

Rehabilitation for juvenile offenders

Once a youth commits a crime or partake in a status offense, authorities set in, and strive to manage the situation. Thus, often rehabilitation centers for the youth are provided with the individual that had a narrow brush with the law and are in need of reassessment, and restriction (Abella, 2016; Mennis, 2011). Yet, this is not the case at all times, and the diverse officers are thus in the need to assess each individual in their own light, and offer a chance of redemption based on their personal profile.

At such time, the measure of the standardization and norms defined by the government, along with the personal set of responsibility for these social agents comes to play. One can contemplate that the responsibility of education can be given to the parole or rehabilitating agent as well. However, amidst the increased relevance of the juveniles’ peers, the presence of an institute which provides a rehabilitative opportunity in a co-habitant manner is recognized (Ward and Williams, 2015).

In most cases the actions of the juvenile are a result of their peers and association. In this sense, it is unmistakably recognized that peer pressure has a direct influence on negative as well as positive conduct. As a result of pre-adulthood, an adolescence has to make sense of their functions in social settings (Toldson et al. 2010). This further raises a need to develop an educational opportunity within juvenile detention settings that not only provide a chance of rehabilitation to the students, or provide them with skills to become independent in future.

There is also a need to determine that the youth become responsible, self-critical and analytic of their actions (Nassir et al. 2015; Sekaran, 2010). As per a review conducted by Toldson et al. (2010), each state has an alternate method for moving toward rehabilitation and education in detainment focuses for the youth of their state. There are a few states whom believe that social administrations are in charge of teaching juvenile delinquents in detainment centers.

In states such as Colorado, the school area nearest to the educational programs to the detainment center focuses on the development of these youth offenders. Yet, irrespective of the program, each being has a pre-conceived framework of development for the youth education and rehabilitation. The purpose of rehabilitation was not to rebuff, but rather to enable the juvenile to get back in the society and make up for their mistakes.

The motivation behind rehabilitation depends on the perception that young criminal conduct is caused by some trigger or influence, and is not a result of pre-meditation (Piquero, 2007). Needless to say, that the law does not ignore delinquent behavior but, takes into consideration circumstances surrounding participation, and invokes punishment; such as methods in which society can improve and reduce the recidivism. As a result, every individual rehabilitation program is intended to explicitly provide guidance and take into account the requirements of the Juvenile (Ward and Williams, 2015).

Youth offenders and education

So far it is argued that through the means of education there is an improvement in the lives of the youth offenders and society at large. Yet, it must also be understood that these youth in the beginning had huge discrepancy with the education, and this disengagement at one point is also a reason for their situation (Knight, 2014). Most of the educational projects give youth offender’s aptitudes to assemble confidence and prompt the accomplishment of work.

Yet, evidence also suggests that most of the offenders were not part of this education system in their early lives, which further challenged their analytic competency (Abella, 2016). Juveniles are expected to learn and comprehend the reason of their actions. There is also a need to address the reason of the criminal demonstrations for an effective rehabilitation. In which sense, before offering education to the youth, there is a need to address the reason for their disengagement with education in the first place (Knight, 2014).

Through these considerations the report argues that there is a need to develop specialized curriculum that can comprehend needs of the juvenile offenders, and help them overcome their respective learning, emotional, mental or other disabilities (Piquero, 2007). It is argued that the deficiency in the juvenile education is frequently associated with the lack of standardization, the presence of an irregular state controls, and lack of resources (Tobelson et al.

2010). Now and again, deficient education can without much of a stretch be faulted for required safety efforts inside the institution (Abella, 2016). Many of these agents forget that the purpose of education is not only to offer a chance to share intellect with the world, or acquire a social standing, but also to provide them with a learning opportunity which enables their sanctity and offers them protection or the ability to seek assistance (Knight, 2014).

There is a need to develop education for the students in juvenile detention which is collective and comprehensive in its entirety. Since recidivism is a critical consideration for the youth offenders, the society and the legal bodies, there is a need to comprehend the drivers of effective education within this system. In this sense, it can be argued that there is a need to understand the contextual and theoretical perspectives which defines social learning and psychological profile of the juvenile delinquent, managing the standardization of education.


There is a need to intervene with respect to the management of education in the youth rehabilitation centers. This means there is a need to address the challenges in a comprehensive light. Since, right of education continues to be a driving parameter along with the need to socially reform and address the motivation for juvenile delinquents offers the following recommendations to improve education parameters in the rehabilitative aspect of the juvenile justice management system.

1. Increase funds

The lack of resources and funds continues to be a major attribute for the disparity in education in the juvenile rehabilitative centers. Since, there are minimal financial and authoritative help for these offices, there is a need to not only procure proper educators to teach these children, but also to provide them with increased opportunities so that they can be improved.

2. Enable standardization

The presence of varied forms of educational institute for these youth disrupts standardization in the education paradigm, and the lack of training becomes a driving force for partial comprehension of the student problem. This prompts for a need to develop a training regime for educators in these facilities that are prepared to recognize and cater to the educational needs of the youth in these units, and provide them with lessons from a curriculum that offers relevant material that aids in their growth and development.

3. Provide a compliance and meaningful education

Research supports there is a need to advocate to enable distinguishing features with respect to curriculum in the youth rehabilitation centers, such that their goals and social responsibilities can align with the motivation of improvement. This in turn should lead to an educational opportunity which allows them to develop their psychological profile as well as competency to thrive in the sense of education parameters in the society. Through improving compliance and self-motivation in learning one contributes towards enabling ownership for these youth. This measure they can actually acquire a rehabilitation of their life in a true sense.


While, there is no guaranteed method to reduce the number of youth who participate in delinquent acts, it is required to at-least offer an option of rehabilitation, and reduces the chances of recidivism. In this sense, the need to intervene with respect to the educational is key. By detention facilities offering a standard, yet adequate educational outlet it can equip these juveniles with the tools needed to comprehend the consequences of their actions, far pass confinement.

Since, environment and social variables have a way to influence the behavior and activities of the youth, this research advocate a need to develop a comprehensive rehabilitative framework for them, such that the internal and external drivers of the offense can be addressed. Increasing educational achievement might lower the involvement of juveniles in delinquent behavior, as well as prevent further involvement in the juvenile justice system.

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