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What can we do reduce juvenile delinquency in the United States?

Juvenile delinquency can be reduced in the United States. By 2015 in the United States there were about 3,000 minors sentenced to life imprisonment without any possibility of obtaining probation. Approximately 2,500 inmates served the same type of sentence, but were convicted when they were still minors. In addition, it was estimated that 10,000 children were confined in adult prisons, as 13-year-old children were tried as adults and sentenced to die in jail without regard to their ages or the circumstances of the crime they committed. Due to the interventions of pro-young entities and many people who opposed such a radical and excessive treatment, both the institutions and the government were taking action to reduce juvenile delinquency less severely. The United States is the only country in the world that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Generally speaking, American children’s rights are adequately protected, but considerable problems still exist regarding health care, child abuse, juvenile law, etc. The law on the rights of minors exists to save children from their well-being and their individual rights. The law was created to defend and rehabilitate both physical and emotional abuse they have received while they were on a toxic environment, but there is also the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that protects working children. This problem can be reduced with several solutions, such as psychological or other treatments, there are also different methods of effectiveness for early education programs and the way in which abused youth can get out of the issue of abuse.

The first juvenile system was established in 1899 in Illinois and which led to the creation of the first child and adolescent psychotherapy in 1909 in Chicago. Within the psychotherapy clinics multiple studies and treatments are done so that the offender can go out to society as a better person. According to a study of nearly 2,000 juvenile offenders were interviewed and they evaluated about 3 years after being detained at the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center. These are the categories in which they were interviewed: home, work, school, community, behavior, mood, self-injurious behavior, drug use and thinking to know in which category they are most affected and can work on that. The result given by the participants after the interview they conducted indicated that almost 30% of juvenile offenders have severe or severe disability in all domains. Almost all participants had severe impairments in at least one domain.

When they are less than 14 years old and enter the restorative justice, they tend to be more successful in the treatment and will make them better human beings. On the contrary, when criminals are more aggressive and more negative, they will not have much success in the future. Bergseth Bouffard says: “restorative justice is better than detention”.

Stop Now, Act Later (SNAP)

A study of children between the ages of 6 and 11 in Ontario, Canada conducted a program that lasted 12 weeks and had two components.

  1. Transformer Club – Help participants through the group therapy process, identifying their bad behavior to help and control anger.
  2. SNAP – Group therapy for parents.

At the end of the program, the evaluative interviews conducted with each family revealed an improvement in anger management and social skills among the participants themselves. It is important to keep in mind that this study had a very high dropout rate, only 37% were until the end.

Scared Straight (Assisted Law)

Unlike the other programs, they strive to prevent the recurrence of crime through therapy and parental support. Scared Straight tries to change the mind of young people from the initial delinquent behavior by exposing them to the harsh realities of life as a prisoner. In a methodology of youth literature, he concluded that nature’s programs do not successfully prevent future crime.

The evidence shows that over the past three decades there has been extensive research to show that establishing MTS (Multisystemic Therapy) for juvenile offenders, keeping them in the community with intensive intervention, significantly reduces recidivism. According to a study to Borduin 4 years after juvenile offenders were treated with MST or with an individual therapy plan, participants had a 22% recidivism rate. In individual therapy group it was 71.4%. MTS had a reduced recidivism rate of 46% compared to the control crime group. MST is an intensive therapy program which focuses on numerous aspects of the delinquent’s life, family, school, social and any other unique factors which may relate to the individual delinquent’s behaviors. MST focuses on prosocial activity and less association with deviant peers. It has been implemented and researched in dozens of research trials and case studies, and repeatedly received significant ratings in both effectiveness and efficacy.

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Tights suggests in his study that one of the main goals of MST is to decrease the juvenile delinquent’s association with other delinquent youths, while facilitating familial support through communication and guided problem solving. Both family members and delinquents reported a decrease in delinquent behavior, improved familial relationships, and an increased interest and understanding of the delinquent’s role in creating their own future, and taking responsibility for their actions. Despite these positive results from MST research, it has proven difficult to implement it as a treatment plan into standard practice and policy today due to comparative ease of other methods, potential higher initial cost, increase of commitment on state and individual levels and failure to see future community gains.

A meta-analysis update on the effectiveness

Whether termed self-control, impulse, or temperament persons who lack impulse control are at risk for a wile range of problem behaviors and outcomes thought out the life course, including poor educational outcomes, relationship quality, employment prospects, health, and especially involvement in deviant, antisocial, and criminal activity (Moffitt 2011)

Also, these programs aim to prove the decision-making styles of person such that places less emphasis on immediate gratification and more emphasis on the long-term consequences of their behavior


Studies that investigated the effects of self-control improvement programs on child behavior problems such as conduct problems, antisocial behavior, and delinquency were included. Piquero (2009-2010) studies were only includes if they had a randomized controlled trial design with post-test measures of self-control and/or child behavior problem for the experimental and control participants. The preliminary eligibility criteria were as follows:

  1. Types of studies: randomized controlled experimental designs
  2. Types of participants: child aged 10 years and under or the mean age of the sample was no greater than age 10 years at the beginning of the intervention studies with mentally and lord physically handicapped subjects were excluded
  3. Types of intervention: self-control improvement was a major component of the intervention
  4. Types of outcomes: inclusion of at least one child-based outcomes measure of general problem behaviors, including antisocial behavior and delinquency
  5. Sufficient data: availability of adequate post-test data for calculating an effect size if one was not provided (means and standard deviations, t-test, F-tests, p-value, etc)
  6. No times frame restrictions
  7. No geographic restrictions
  8. Published and unpublished report were included
  9. Qualitative studies were not included
  10. Studies need to be available in English

Adopting their exact same meta-analytic methods, the intention of the current study was:

  1. To build upon these earlier results by updating the search of relevant studies through September 2015
  2. To incorporate these newly identified studies into Piquero

As such, the current study offers the most up-to-rate meta-analysis that exist evaluating the effectiveness of self-control improvement programs initiated before the age of 10 years on improving self-control and/or reducing delinquency. Is a summary of the due process rights that do and do not apply to juveniles in delinquency proceedings. Some of these rights derive from U.S. Supreme Court cases and therefore apply to all states, while other rights vary by state. Probable cause needed to search a minor. Right to a phone call. No right to bail. The right to counsel. The right to notice of the charges. The right to confront and cross-examine witnesses. The privilege against self-incrimination. No (or limited) right to a jury trial.

The right to have charges proved beyond a reasonable doubt.


  1. Haugaard, J. J., & Feerick , M. (2002). Intervenetions for MAltreated Children to Reduce Their Likelihood of Engaging in Juvenile Delinquency . Children’s Service: Social Policy,vResearch & Practice, 5(4), 285-297. doi:http//
  2. Legal Resources. (1996). Retrieved October 11, 2019, from HG.ORG:
  3. Legal Resources. (1996). Retrieved October 11, 2019, from HG.:ORG :
  4. May, J., Osmond, K., & Billick, S. (2014). Juvenile delinquency treatment and prevention: A literature review. Psychiatic Quarterly, 85(3), 295-301. doi:
  5. Michon, K. (2019). Constitutional Rights in Juvenile Cases. Retrieved November 5, 2019, from Nolo:
  6. Piquero, A. R., Jennings, ,. W., Farrington, D. P., Diamond, B., & Reingle Gonzalez, J. M. (2016). A meta-analysis update on the effectiveness of early self-controlimprovement programs to improve self-control and reduce delinquency. Journal of Expermental Criminology, 12(2), 249-264. doi:

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