The Theories Of Crime And Delinquency Essay

1702 Words Nov 9th, 2014 7 Pages
III. Juvenile Delinquency (5-7 pages)

A. Theories of Delinquency
Juveniles are defined as youth who range from as young as the age of nine until the age of eighteen who take part in illegal criminal behavior. Identifying the reasons behind why adolescents engage in crime is difficult. Studying theoretical explanations of gang formation is crucial because the way a particular agency, governing body, or community views a gang has a great impact on the programs and types of law enforcement used in relation to them (Delaney, 2006). In his book, Delaney (2006) states theories are integrated explanatory schemes that predict relationships between two or more phenomena. They provide rational foundations to account for or explain things and help us understand why juveniles are processed different ways by the juvenile justice system (as cited in Champion, 2004, pg. 83). There has been a minimal amount of research conducted to explain why crime and delinquency occurred up until the last half of the nineteenth century. Biologists developed the earliest theories on crime and delinquency; they believed that genetic inheritance or other physical attributes were the causes of crime (Delany, 2006). Biological theories aim to associate crime and delinquency to genetics. They revolve around the idea of a “born criminal” (Delany, 2006, pg. 76) and the implication that crime is hereditary.
Biological theories can be broken into two classifications: the classical and the positive. It…

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