Juvenile Crime Prevention

by Scott Grabel

When it comes to kids and crime, they can be either a perpetrator or a victim. As a victim, they are vulnerable to attacks from adults and other teens. When a juvenile commits a crime, it can have a life altering impact on his or her life. Even minor crimes can set a pattern of behavior that continues into adulthood. Parents and guardians play a pivotal role in preventing juveniles from falling into either category. They can do this through their actions and their interactions with youth. To start, it is necessary to understand some of the common areas in which juveniles and crime intersect.

Assault

Assault is defined as a violent physical attack against another person. In some cases, an assault may hurt the victim on an emotional level as opposed to a physical one. A physical assault may involve hitting, kicking, or otherwise beating another person. Mentally, assault can take the form of extreme harassment or bullying. Rape, or sexual assault, is another type of physical and mental assault. Youth may fall victim to assault at the hands of other people their age or by adults. Juveniles often commit these types of violent crimes against one another. 

  • Youth Violence: A Youth Violence PDF that discusses and defines youth violence in detail. The article gives the reader information about the scope of the problem and reviews ways to prevent youth violence from occurring.
  •  
  • The Solution to Juvenile Crime is Simple: An article that gives various tips on how violent crimes can be prevented in schools. The tips appear at the end of the article in two sections. The first half of the article discusses juvenile crime in general and its growth.
  •  
  • Best Practices for the Prevention of Youth Homicide and Severe Youth Violence: A PDF document that discusses different strategies on how to reduce violence committed by youth. The document also discusses causes and risk factors.
  •  
  • Teens and Violence Prevention: An article by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation that gives advice to parents on how to prevent teen violence and aggression. It also gives advice on how teens can avoid violence.
  •  
  • What Works in Youth Violence Prevention: An article that discusses effective prevention strategies like those that are community, family, and school based.

Drug Crimes

Because they are illegal, the act of taking drugs is in itself a crime. In addition, the chemical effects of the drugs can cause teens to behave in violent ways and may cause them to attack or hurt others. Even the desire to continue feeding their drug addiction can cause juveniles to commit a drug related crime. Crimes associated with drug usage can be non-violent in nature or violent to the point of murder. Drug crimes may include stealing, rape, beating, stabbing, or even shooting.

  • Teen Violence and Drugs: A page on the anti-drug website that introduces parents to the relationship between drugs and gangs. The page gives parents valuable tips on how to keep their children safe from both.
  •  
  • Drug Prevention 4 Teens: A PDF guide that discusses today's drug problem, prevention and awareness, and what teens can do in terms of drug awareness.
  •  
  • Breaking the Juvenile Drug-Crime Cycle: A PDF guide that was written for practitioners and policymakers. It discusses the juvenile drug-crime cycle and what can be done to break it. The article is written in terms of preventing offenders from committing further drug related crimes.
  •  
  • The Partnership at DrugFree.org: A website that is designed to help families prevent drug abuse and intervene when necessary. This website is useful for drug crime prevention because it may help juveniles from committing the crime of using illegal drugs.
  •  
  • Crime Prevention Tips - Drugs - Talk with Your Kids about Drugs: An article that advises parents to communicate with and listen to their children about drug use. The page also lists reasons that kids may use drugs and ways that parents can tell if their child is on drugs.

DUI/DWI

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are both terms that are used to describe a person who is driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. When a person of any age drinks or takes drugs and then drives a car, it is a crime. Underage drinking and drug use in general, even when the teen is not driving, is illegal. Underage drinking and driving is one of the main causes of accidents and death for teenage drivers.

  • Get Involved: A brief article that tells parents what they can do to prevent their kids from drinking while under the influence. It also includes a small section for parents who believe their teen may have a problem with drugs.
  •  
  • Seven Ways to Stop Teens From Drinking and Driving for Real: An MSN news article that lists seven ways that parents can get their kids to avoid drinking and driving. The tips are in numbered format and include an explanation following each tip. The article also includes a video about teens and how they feel about driving under the influence.
  •  
  • NIDA for Teens: Four Tips to Avoid Drinking, Drugs, and Driving: Preventative ideas for teens on how to avoid driving drunk or while under the influence of other drugs. The tips are useful for preventing kids from getting in the car with friends who are drunk driving.
  •  
  • Parent's Corner Drunk Driving: An article on the Century Council website that lists ways parents can prevent their teens from driving while drunk. Advice includes giving them the facts, telling them the risks, and setting rules.
  •  
  • Preventing Impaired Driving in Your Teen: A University of Rochester Medical Center Health Encyclopedia page that reviews measures to prevent impaired driving. The tips are designed for parents and include advice such as practicing what they preach.

Theft

Theft is defined as one person illegally taking property from someone else. Juvenile theft is another area in which youth can be either the victim or the aggressor. Youth who fall victim to theft in school may have their personal property stolen from their lockers or backpacks. Juveniles who steal may steal from other teens, adults, or businesses. When a teen steals from a business, such as a grocery or clothing store, it is called shoplifting. For some people, shoplifting is a compulsion that is difficult to stop or control.

  • Kids Say No to Shoplifting: An article from the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention that explains how kids feel after being arrested for shoplifting. The article also tells kids what they should do if they feel that they have a problem and how they can encourage others to stop shoplifting.
  •  
  • What is Juvenile Delinquency: Explains juvenile delinquency, which includes stealing. The document explains what parents can do to prevent their child from becoming a delinquent.
  •  
  • Teen Girls and Shoplifting: An article from Teen Vogue on the Theft Talk website. The article discusses girls who have a shoplifting problem. It gives the readers "tricks" that can help prevent girls from thinking about and actually stealing.
  •  
  • A Teen's Guide to Protecting Portable Property: A PDF that explains how kids can keep their personal property safe from theft. The PDF also briefly discusses how teens might be able to get their stuff back.
  •  
  • My Child is Stealing: An article that appears on the KidsHealth website that discusses why kids steal and what parents should do to prevent it. The article also reviews what should be done if kids continue to steal.