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Addressing Juvenile Recidivism: Risk Factors and Effective Interventions

Jul 12, 2023 | 0 comments

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Jul 12, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

Juvenile delinquents are people who are 18 years old and below who commits an act that would have been considered a crime if they were adult. These criminal acts can lead to reconviction or return to juvenile detention amenities. In other words, juvenile recidivism is the repetition of criminal behavior by an adolescent or a minor. The risk of young people relapsing into criminal activity is one way to measure the effectiveness of juvenile justice intervention. children when they are at school. For the cases in the Juvenile recidivism has become a major concern of policymakers. The rate of juvenile recidivism has increased since the large numbers of juveniles on probation are re-offenders. Research shows that many repeat offenders do not have criminal mindsets but they commit crimes due to other factors such as substance abuse, father’s criminality, or mental health problems.


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The juvenile justice system is mandated with the responsibility to prevent reoffending by adolescents (Soyer, 2016). The court also plays a role in responding to adolescents who commit illegal actions by either imposing sanctions or providing rehabilitation services. The court can play a role in preventing reoffending by the youth through intervening or assessing adolescents at different points of contact with the system.

It is important to identify factors that contribute to the continued offending by the minor. This practice can help identify chronic and violent offenders and correct those behaviors that contribute to reoffending patterns. The effect size helps to predict the chances of an adolescent to re-offend and the impact of interventions to help reduce juvenile recidivism. Juvenile recidivism risk factors or conditions that are associated with criminal behavior include dropping out of school. Risk factors variables such as family, substance abuse, and peer influence predict a high likelihood of adolescents to re-offend.

Parental or peer criminality is among many factors that contribute to an increase in juvenile recidivism. The offenders tend to repeat their criminal behaviors since they learn from their parents, peers, or people close to them. Unknowingly, criminally parents pass this behavior to their children through processes such as punishments and aggression. Many programs fail to address the influence parents have on their children. Criminal behavior like any other behavior is learned and the learning process occurs through communication. An adolescent with many delinquent peers is likely to recommit criminal behaviors compared to a young person with few or no delinquent peer groups.

Research shows that mental illness increases recidivism risk among many young people. For instance, someone who has witnessed a traumatic event develops posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that makes them vulnerable to committing criminal acts repeatedly. People with PSTD have symptoms such as depression, anger, anxiety, and irritability that make it easy for them to commit a crime. Additionally, deficit-hyperactivity (ADHD) is another mental disorder associated with juvenile recidivism. This disorder occurs during childhood due to impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention.

Moreover, strain from unachieved goals or blockage to opportunities is among factors that contribute to delinquent behaviors among the youth (Hirschi, 2017). When a response to strain involves anger, people tend to commit crimes. The reason is that people tend to react to negative stimuli, especially when a situation causing stress is perceived as unjust. Furthermore, juvenile offenders are likely to continue offending if they continue substance abuse. This is evident in the number of criminal actions reported near bars and other alcohol dispensing firms. When people are under influence of regulations on consumption of alcohol and usage of drugs. There should be a minimum set age limit where people can consume alcohol, they engage incriminating behaviors hence high chances of engaging in delinquent behaviors.

To reduce juvenile reoffending, the justice system should introduce programs that address reentry issues to facilitate a juvenile’s reintegration into society (Latessa, Listwan, & Koetzle, 2014). Reentry services should integrate two fields of criminology, namely the intervention strategy and community restraint. The intervention strategy aims at changing an individual’s behavior to prevent further delinquency behavior that leads to reoffending. On the other hand, community restraint refers to the amount of monitoring a juvenile is provided in the community. Some juvenile is placed under electronic monitoring, house arrest, or constant urine testing to monitor if they have stopped substance abuse (National Research Council, 2013). Community restraint helps in preventing further criminal behaviors by reducing the opportunity to commit crimes.

Juvenile reentry ensures a teenager is provided with the necessary resources that facilitate his or her collaboration with the community (Greenwood, 2013). There should be a systematic change such as an aftercare program once a juvenile is released from a correction facility. Aftercare services should also include wraparound services such as mentoring and parental skill development. Wraparound plans specify the individual’s needs including mental health, disabilities, unemployment, substance use, and counseling. A rehabilitation facility together with a manager from the correctional facility should be considered when developing the wraparound plans.

Evidence-based aftercare services include educational service immediately after offenders are released back to society. However, depending on the age of the offender, reentry services may differ. While some youths return to their home school or a group home setting, others may be transferred to an adult correctional facility. Precisely, some youths exit juvenile settings without completing their sentences. In this case, they are transferred to adult correctional facilities to continue with their educational process. However, if a young individual has completed his or her sentence, they are returned to the community for post educational programs even if they have reached the age of majority.


Greenwood, P. (2013). Evidence-based practice in juvenile justice: Progress, challenges, and opportunities. Springer Science & Business Media, pp. 1-118.

Hirschi, T. (2017). Causes of delinquency. The transaction, pp. 1-309.

Latessa, E. J., Listwan, S. L., & Koetzle, D. (2014). What works (and doesn’t) in reducing recidivism. Routledge, pp. 1-250.

National Research Council. (2013). Reforming juvenile justice: A developmental approach. National Academies Press, pp. 1-562.

Soyer, M. (2016). A dream denied: Incarceration, recidivism, and young minority men in America. Univ of California Press pp. 1-184.

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