The Effects of Juvenile Crime Rates on Society.
Crime rates in America have risen dramatically over the past few years. There are a variety of theories regarding the increase in crime rates and methods society can use to reduce crime rates. Two of the most common explanations for the increase in crime rates are: 1.) society is too soft on crime, and 2.) juveniles are responsible for the increase in crime. By examining such factors as juvenile arrest rates, juveniles in custody, juvenile recidivism rates, and violent crime index offenses committed by juveniles, it is apparent that these are accurate explanations. Crime rates in America are increasing, and juveniles; along with the inability of society to place harsh enough punishments on offenders, can at least partially explain this increase. .
Juvenile crime is a term that refers to all of the various offenses committed by children under the age of eighteen. Such acts are sometimes referred to as juvenile delinquency. Juvenile offenses typically include delinquent acts, which would be considered crimes if committed by adults, and status offenses, which are less serious and would not be considered crimes if committed by adults. In 1991, only five percent of the juveniles in public facilities were being held in custody because of status offenses (Moone, 1993, p. 1). This means that ninety-five percent of the juveniles in public facilities were in custody because of more serious delinquency offenses. The 1991 Children in Custody Census found 57,542 juveniles in public facilities. This was the largest number since the census began in 1974, with an overall rate of 221 juveniles in custody per 100,000 juveniles in America (Moone, 1993, p. 1). Essentially, these statistics represent a growing population of juveniles in custody, with an overwhelming majority of these juveniles being held for serious criminal offenses.
Over the past decade, juvenile crime rates have steadily increased in every category.