Recividism in Juvenile Offenders Essay

4030 Words May 9th, 2007 17 Pages
Youth choosing to engage in criminal behavior is not a new phenomenon. Youth who choose to do this repeatedly are referred to as re-offenders. The age and the sex of the offender also contribute to the recidivism rate and the types of consequences. Other contributing factors in recidivism include the relationship the youth has with peers or parents, whether they abuse substances, and the racial origins of the young offender. There is a wide spectrum of consequences and different ways in which treatment attempts to aid re-offenders. Re-offenders commit various crimes and differ greatly in their response to treatment.
Recidivism in youth is characterized by adolescents who repeatedly engage in criminal behavior and consistently make poor
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These include: fines, community service, probation or restitution (Kowalski, 1999). There are obviously a variety of contributing factors that lead to the decision of what is to be done with these re-offenders. When looking at the differences in offenders in terms of skin colour or whether they belong to a minority group there are some consistent findings. Andrew Rasmussen looked at the differences when African- American people were being convicted of crime in the USA and their recidivism rates. Rasmussen found that when African- American individuals had been convicted of a crime that there was slower processing of the case, quicker processing being associated with more positive outcomes. The longer processing also decreases the impact felt by the offender, reducing the impact of the punishment and increasing the risks of re-offending. There was no evidence found to suggest that African- Americans committed more offences than whites although they did find that African- Americans were arrested at much higher rates. In addition to African-Americans being arrested more often, researchers have found that they are sentenced more harshly. When they compared community service hours received for minor crimes African- Americans received almost double the amount of hours compared to their white peers. There seems to be a generalized mentality of authority officials that the African- American population is more delinquent (Rasmussen, 2004). In

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