View random article

What Is a Juvenile Delinquent?

A juvenile delinquent refers to a young person below the age of 18 who is engaged in illegal activities. This person may have committed a crime in some instances but being of minor age, may not be punished in the same way as adults.

Some states where minors are considered to still lack responsibility, the sentence to juvenile delinquents may not be that harsh. However, there are states which have implemented laws allowing adolescents as young as 14 who have committed serious crimes or who have been repeat offenders to be criminally liable. These states normally have juvenile detention centers where young offenders are brought to after being arrested by authorities.

A juvenile delinquent may have unpleasant or traumatic past experiences that caused their illegal behavior. Some may even be suffering from mental disorders and behavioral issues. These can include post traumatic stress disorder and conduct disorder.

Among the crimes commonly committed by juvenile delinquents are those related to sexual acts such as rape. Males are found to be more involved in youth crimes with experts pointing to their masculinity as the reason behind such illegal acts. Due to the belief that they’re more powerful than females, males tend to become aggressive and manipulative and confident that they can freely engage in antisocial and criminal acts.

Psychologists also attribute the negative behavior to the treatment these young people experienced from their parents as well as conduct disorder. Conduct disorder can start in early childhood and is diagnosed when a young individual continuously shows disregard for the safety of people and property.

Featured in Life