Labeling Is More Powerful Than The Label Of Delinquent Essays

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Perhaps, though, it is not necessarily just the label of delinquent that is the cause of a juvenile’s recidivism, but rather the stigmatization that occurs from the label of delinquent. Contrary to Chiricos (2007), Klein (1974) suggested that things such as social bonds and other’s perceptions of those labeled as a felon are more so the reasons for recidivism, not just the fact that the labeled juvenile now sees him/herself as a delinquent. The so-called delinquent “stigma” is more powerful than the label of delinquent itself. Haggard et al. found that after being incarcerated, half of the participants in the study confirmed that they were forced to live restricted lives and cope with societal stigmatization (2001). In agreement with Klein and Haggard, Hirschfield (2008) concluded that labeling is subjective to the society an individual associates with: when many youth are arrested in a community, the youth sympathize with one another and, as a result, arrests carry little credibility. Thus, for such juveniles, there is no stigma specifically associated with the label and therefore no measurable increased risk of recidivism. Hirschfield avows that two conditions must be met for a labeling theory to have an effect: “a negative meaning endowed to the arrest and confirmatory treatment from significant others” (2008). When either of the two is absent, the stigma and label attached to the adjudication of guilt is absent as well.
While many juvenile delinquents and adult criminals…

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