Theories Of Juvenile Delinquency And Incarceration Programs

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An increasing number of African American young males have transitioned from the schoolhouse to the jailhouse. African American males under the age of l8 make up 10% of today’s population; however, they attribute to 60% of incarceration (Barbarin, 2010, p.81). As a result, states are allowing courts to charge youths as young as 14 years of age as adults and place them in adult facilities. These facilities often do not address the problems that youth are experiencing. States, specifically Louisiana has not seen a decline in incarceration since the passing of The Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2003 (Act 1225). The purpose of this study to re-examine Act 1225 and to offer an alternative of implementing evidence-based community programs
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Researcher Sylvia Khromina hypothesizes that “One of the best explanations for high incarceration rates is provided by the Conflict Theory because it holds that human groups are in constant competition, and therefore the dominant societal groups work to oppress the underclasses…By incarcerating a youth, we are limiting their chances at future success. We are therefore oppressing the under classes and ensuring that they remain in their current underprivileged states. (Khromina, 2007, p. 95). Other researchers determined that parental involvement in the criminal justice system was also a big factor of causation for juvenile delinquents. According to Murray, “Multiple psychological, social, and economic strains originating from parental criminal justice contact might contribute to the development of various forms of youth problem behavior. (Murray et al, 2012, p. 258). Other theories revolve around individual factors of causation. In researching criminal style among adolescents, one group found that individual psychosocial maturity, responsibility, and temperance were all factors that indicated whether or not a juvenile would be involved in delinquent behaviors and thus be subject to incarceration. (Goldweber et al, 2011, p.

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