Applying Criminology to Juvenile Justice Essay

2151 Words Jul 6th, 2014 9 Pages
Applying Criminology to Juvenile Justice
27 Nov 2013

Applying Criminology to Juvenile Justice The area of law and policy concerned with young people and the criminal system is often referred to as juvenile justice. The reasons behind any young person becoming involved in crime are varied and complex. For example, possible factors such as poor parental supervision, drug and alcohol abuse, neglect and abuse, homelessness, negative peer associations, poor personal and social skills or difficulties in school and employment. There are several sociological theories that back these factors, such as Social Learning, Differential Association, Containment, Social Control, and Labeling. The Labeling theory is defined as, “A social
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Becker, (1963) Outsiders, (p.9). If you are labeled as a criminal, people do not consider all the good things you have done; they just see that you committed some type of a felony and are now a criminal. Once a person is labeled and judged by society it is very hard to get back to what they once had and people often have an identity change. This is a social problem because labeling these people basically ruins their lives to the point where they have no choice but to for fill that label they were given. The labeling theory poses the question if those who have previously been labeled as criminal are more likely to repeat criminal acts. If society continues to accept this criminological theory it will continue to cause social problems for both the "criminal" and community. Scholars stated that, the labeling of individuals can be "a stepping stone in the development of a delinquent career" (Bernburg). When someone commits a crime at a young age they are forever labeled and looked at as a criminal. This theory is saying that people cannot change and that people are not allowed to make mistakes. When someone is labeled a criminal at a young age they will continue to commit criminal acts because they are already viewed as criminal and will never be seen different. Therefore they do not find a need to change people's impressions of them. By labeling people it destroys their self-image and identity. Everything they are told is

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