Juvenile Delinquency Due to Lack of Opportunities

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Juvenile Delinquency Due to Lack of Opportunities


There are many reasons associated with juvenile delinquency and some of these include maltreatment, environmental factors, family instability, imitation from others, criminal neighborhoods and poverty among the families and places where these young people live. From the resources analyzed it is true that juvenile delinquency is most of the time not the problem or not caused by the desires of the youths but rather caused by experiences and issues the youths face and this is a difficult situation to deal with. The different articles offer ways to deal with the situations which face children and which lead to early offending in ways that do not bring them into situations which are not comfortable for example being arrested and tried in courts of law. However, the most important question is are the kids who are involved in early offending different from the ones who undergo the same issues and do not get involved in offending? The other question is how much money can be used to solve the issue and which strategy is the best in dealing with the issue of juvenile delinquency since it seems to get out of hand.

Statement of the Problem

Delinquency among the young people is a nationwide problem. However, delinquency does not always happen with all the youths and some youths especially those from well off families and those areas inhabited by what can be called economically or financially affluent are not majorly affected by youth delinquency. From the comments of Cuentas (2018), it is clear that youth delinquency is a process or a result of being exposed to situations which are not pleasing or even worthy for a person to live in. firstly the people of color and specifically black people tend to live in areas which are prone to crime and this results to the youths learning the ways of crime from the neighborhoods. This is because crime does not always change with location where people travel but remains in a neighborhood and the type of people a person associates with determine the kind of person they become.

However, these crime neighborhoods can be avoided as Cuentas states. however, in as much as they can be avoided, most of the time it is not even the neighborhoods that drives youths into crime. The major reason as to why youth get into crime is witnessing violent behavior and generally lacking opportunities for them to go on with their lives in the best manner possible. when youths lack opportunities because the government does not want to invest into their area, they get to understand that they are not valued in the society and even though they want to be good they end up in crime as it the only consolation they have because they trust nobody sees them and nobody cares about them. The youths also get to learn about systemic racism and even though they try, most of the times they get turned down and they find the experience very disheartening when they try to look for opportunities and every time they are turned down. However, this paper discusses the many reasons as to why youths especially from low-income families find it difficult to go on with normal life and resort to crime mainly because of lack of opportunities.

Research Hypothesis

The research hypothesis for this research is that; increased crime rates among African American youths from low-income areas is contributed to highly by the lack of opportunities in their areas.

The null hypothesis for the research is: lack of opportunities has no effect on the increased crime rates among the youths from low-income families.

Research Design and Methods

The research will use deductive research design. deductive reasoning research design is the type of research design that is based on deducing specific statements from general ones. For example, youths from financially unstable families engage in criminal activities. The other statement deductive statement under this might be Andrew is a youth from financially unstable family and therefore Andrew is likely to engage in criminal activities.

The research will also use cross-sectional design in that the research will be studied at one particular point in time. The major way of testing my hypothesis will be through observation, questionnaires and interviews of the resource persons who in this case will be both black and white youths from different financial backgrounds. I will also use secondary data for this research. Secondary data refers to the research done on a particular issue in the past. I will use journals and researches to bring out the fact that many people of color from low-income backgrounds engage in criminal activities due to lack of opportunities.

Survey Questions

Why do you think youths engage in crime?

Do you think youths from low-income backgrounds are likely to engage in criminal behaviors?

Why do you think so?

what opportunities might the youths lack so that they engage in criminal behaviors?

Is there anything that can be done for those already in criminal activities and save them?

Are there other opportunities apart from crime for the youths?

If yes, what are these opportunities?

What can the government do about criminals?

Do youth criminals need apprehension ordo they need saving?

Does enabling the families financially solve the issue of crimes?

What role does racial injustice play in the issue of criminal behavior of the youths?

What can non-profit organizations do to help the youths who are likely to engage in crime?

Is is the fault of the government that youths engage in crime?

What can the government do to prevent crime among the youth?

Do youths from financially stable families engage in crime?

Why do they engage/do not engage in crime?

What is the role of parents in dealing with youths with criminal behaviors?

Can racial justice and equality be achieved?

How can it be achieved?

Will achieving racial equality and equity solve criminal behaviors among the youths?

Literature review

‌(Annotated bibliography)

Cuentas, A. (2018). Poverty: Key Factors Contributing to High Juvenile Delinquency Rates. Medium. https://medium.com/@acuentas07/poverty-key-factors-contributing-to-high-juvenile-delinquency-rates-31f9aebc44e8#:~:text=Poverty%20is%20a%20reoccurring%20factor%20in%20juvenile%20delinquencyThis article states the major reason as to why a lot of youths get into violence. Poverty is the major thing and the article states that it is not always the wish of the young people to get involved into crime but depending with the situation they are in and seeing the injustice around them, crime remains the only option.

National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. (2001). Juvenile Crime, Juvenile Justice. National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/9747

‌This book portion discusses in chapter 2 (The Development of Delinquency), discusses the reasons as to why delinquency among the youth occurs and, in this part, mainly the reasons why delinquency among the youths is prevalent is that youths lack of opportunities and this is especially with the youths of color and those from areas inhabited by low-income communities.

Provide Opportunities for Children and Youth. (n.d.). Ojjdp.ojp.gov. https://ojjdp.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh176/files/action/sec4.htm

This study looks into the manner in which children presented with opportunities are likely to be better than those who are not presented with opportunities. This is because according to the study, youths and young people always envision good lives ahead of them and this is not always possible since lack of opportunities makes them suffer a lot in the process. Therefore, even though some succeed, it is not always the case for most of the youths who are not provided with opportunities which can make them successful.

Young, S., Greer, B., & Church, R. (2017). Juvenile delinquency, welfare, justice and therapeutic interventions: a global perspective. BJPsych bulletin, 41(1), 21-29.

‌In this research the study looks at the juvenile delinquency tendencies as well as how these happen. The research also looks into the welfare of the youths and their families, if justice is served for those who are found in criminal activities as well as how just are the processes since some of the criminal activities are as a result of resource mis-appropriation. The last important part are therapeutic interventions employed by different governments and agencies towards the issue. If focuses on a global perspective from countries which are economically less developed to the countries with high economic development like the United States of America and the Great Britain.

Shader, M. (2001). Risk factors for delinquency: An overview. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

This research looks into the different ways in which delinquency among the youths can be explained. As shader states, there are many different variations of explanations as to why different people engage in criminal activities or just mere delinquent practices. Therefore, this study looks into the different factors which lead to delinquency as well as what can be done to deal with these issues because even with justice and apprehension of those who are involved does not fully solve the issue but just covers the issue while in real sense there is a deep-seated problem which needs to be solved.

Poverty and Juvenile Delinquency in the United States – Free Essay Example. (2019, December 12). StudyDriver.com. https://studydriver.com/poverty-and-juvenile-delinquency-in-the-united-states/

In this article, poverty is explained in the manner in which it is a big contributor towards juvenile delinquency and how it matters that poverty leads to democracy while at the same time there is punishment. It states that for every year the unite states uses about $21 billion for the sake of curbing and dealing with juvenile crime. this becomes a very difficult problem if such amount of money is used for juvenile delinquency and still it does not end. Based on this the article does on to give suggestions of how the issue can be dealt with and can be solved.

Gogua, I. (2020, June 23). Juvenile Delinquency – Causes, Prevention, and the Ways of Rehabilitation. Penal Reform International. https://www.penalreform.org/blog/juvenile-delinquency-causes-prevention-and-the-ways-of/

In this article there is a discussion of how juvenile delinquency is caused by violent neighborhoods, imitation, family issues, psychological issues and the situation of being street kids. However, with all these causes the article takes the issue from a positive side and discusses that there is a chance that these issues can be solved and people return back of normal. One such way of solving the problems is generally rehabilitation and trying to create sense into the young people why they should not get involved into such cruel behaviors.

Cho, M., Haight, W., Choi, W. S., Hong, S., & Piescher, K. (2019). A prospective, longitudinal study of risk factors for early onset of delinquency among maltreated youth. Children and Youth Services Review, 102, 222-230.

‌this research looks into the area of juvenile or youth from a point of view of relationship between the cases of offending and early maltreatment of the same kids. For example, 5002 students in grade 3 were studied and when they got into age 6 to 8 years, they were noticed to have continuous offending cases and therefore the research offers solutions as ways of making sure that the students are not maltreated when they are young.


Once data is collected the major ways of analysis will be by using essays to explain the results especially the interviews which is a qualitative approach while charts, tables and measures of central tendency like mean, mode and median will also be used.


Results expected from the field and from the secondary data is that young people are highly affected by their environments and that whatever they go through determines the kind of people they become. Therefore, the best way to solve the issue of juvenile or youth delinquency is through helping the kids to grow in a healthy environment and making the environments safe for them to grow in and develop into positive and good people.


Based on the results it is clear that children formation is what determines what kind of people they become as they grow up. Whether a child is treated well or not determines if they will be able to be good people or fall under offending crimes. Therefore, good environment is necessary for the children to grow in. the other important thing is reduction of poverty levels and employing ways to curb crime in the criminal areas.

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