Youths ArrestsNameInstitution Affiliation Youth ArrestsIntroductionViolence by the youths is one of the most notorious criminal activities in the society today. Broadcast media and newspapers frequently report on youth arrests and violence by young people in schools and streets. According to WHO (2016), in 2000, over 199, 000 youth homicides were reported and 565 youths arrested and charged with violence. This figure has risen to 1500 youth arrests in America by the year 2016 (World Health Organization, 2016).
By the end of 2016, data from the Freedom of Information Act revealed that police had arrested 1549 youths and charged them with crimes imitation and possession of firearms (World Health Organization, 2016). Police have also reported that terror gangs are using youths to ferry weapons to escape detection. In Britain, the Metropolitan police arrested over 679 children for suspected firearm crimes in 2016. Merseyside police arrested 73 youths and charged them with possession of air weapons, firearms, and robbery. The infamous shootings that occurred in 2010 by Derrick Bird led to the arrest of 19 youths, including a 10-year-old child. This paper will discuss trends in youth arrests globally and analyze factors that significantly contribute to juvenile delinquency.
The paper will also focus on various solutions to the ever increasing youth arrests in the community (World Health Organization, 2016). Trends in youths ArrestsSince 1985, the rates of youth homicides have been on a constant increase. Since then, many youths between 10-24 years have been arrested. The number of arrests has increased more among youths between 15-24 years compared to those between 10 and 14 years. The rates of male arrests have also increased more compared to female arrests.
More than 70 percent of the youth homicides reported in the US involve guns. This rate has risen significantly to 16 youths per 100, 000 from 8 youths per 100, 000 (Pealer, 2017). Developing nations record more youth homicides and arrests compared to developed nations. A report by the World Health Organization revealed that a 28.6 percent increase in the number of youth arrests is recorded annually in France and that most of the reported youth homicides involve nonfatal violence (World Health Organization, 2016). Most of the fatal youth violence are recorded among youths aged between 20 and 26 years. Youth arrests due to non-fatal homicide increase dramatically during the adolescent and the young adulthood stages.
Some of the risk behaviors leading to youth arrests include physical fights and possession of firearms. According to Pealer, most studies reveal that these risk behaviors involve youths in primary and secondary schools and the prevalence of possession of firearms is more evident among male youths than female (Pealer, 2017). Youth violence begins in many ways. For instance, children who exhibit behavioral problems during early childhood are likely to escalate to severe forms of violence during the adolescent stage.
A study by Columbia University shows that serious offenders among the youth are on what could be termed as a persistent life course development pathway (Banks, 2013). Most young adults that fall in this category have been arrested for committing serious violent crimes. The continuity of aggressive behaviors after the adolescent stage is also another factor that significantly contributes to youth homicides.
In Columbus, OH in the US, 59 percent youths charged with violent offenses before 18 years were rearrested during their adulthood for committing serious violent offenses such as rape, aggravated assault, and homicide. A study in England reveals that male convicted between age 14 and 20, were rearrested between age 21 and 40 (Judah, 2013). Youths who engage in violent crimes for shorter periods, especially during the adolescent stage are termed as Adolescence Limited offenders.
A National Youth Survey conducted in the US showed that young people who commit serious violent crimes ceased their violent behavior (Banks, 2013). Situational factors play a significant role in violent behavior among youths. Some of these situational factors include the motive behind violent crimes, the location, the use of a substance such as alcohols and availability of weapons.
Studies of delinquency reveal that their (youths) search for excitement motivates most of the violent crimes. In the United States, most youths arrested for assault acted in the form of retaliation, revenge or anger due to provocation. Drunkenness is a situational factor that results in violence. About ¾ of violent crime offenders are often intoxicated. Psychological characteristics also contribute to violent crimes among the youth. Impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and poor behavioral control are related negatively to violence.
Youths who score poorly on behavioral control are more likely to engage in serious violent crimes. Hyperactivity and risk-taking behavior in early childhood also predict violence during early adulthood (Banks, 2013). The primary issues in the development of violent behavior among the youths rely significantly on family environment and parental behavior. Lack of adequate supervision or guidance by parents results in violent behaviors during early adulthood. Physical punishments as ways of disciplining children are also strong predictors of violence in early adulthood and adolescence. In the US, most children who underwent harsh and punishment by their guardians or parents were found to be involved in criminal violence during their adulthood (World Health Organization, 2016).
Parental conflict is also strongly linked to violence among youths. Children exposed to parental conflict undergo both emotional and psychological torture that predicts criminal violence. The media (i.e.
, TV, radio and movies) also plays an important role in the development of a child. Evidently, children are tempted to copy and practice most of the things they see in the media. Children love to watch movies, TV series, video games, and magazines that promote violent crimes. This aggression effect by the mass media instills self-directed violence among youths (World Health Organization, 2016). Solutions to Youth ArrestsThe burden of preventing youth arrests need to be distributed widely among schools, non-profit agencies, and parents. Governmental agencies both at the local, state and federal levels must also play their role in minimizing youth arrests. A research by the Prevent Delinquency Project reveals that parents are the primary individuals responsible for identifying violent behavior and preventing it from further development (Judah, 2013).
The US Government has established the Coordinating Council on Juvenile and Delinquency Prevention that is responsible for coordinating juvenile violence and delinquency programs that recommend how local, state and federal agencies can coordinate to serve youths at risk of being involved in violent crimes. The council has funded the Federal Mentoring Council that seeks to mentor youths and guide them in ceasing violent crimes (Judah, 2013). The Prevent Delinquency Project reveals that creating time for family reunions helps to impact the youths positively and reduce the rate of youth delinquency. A study by Columbia University revealed that children from families that spend more time together are less likely to get involved in illegal or legal substances that promote violent crimes. Parents need to take active interests in the lives of their children as they are in a powerful position to prevent juvenile delinquency. Children that are addicted to substance use should be guided morally and taken to rehabilitation centers to help correct their behavior. However, corrective measures are not as effective as prevention measures (Pealer, 2017).
ConclusionYouth arrests may lead to stigmatization and labeling of a person as troublesome. Diverting youths from the old system of arrests has proven more effective in reducing arrests (Pealer, 2017). Prevention and post prevention programs have helped to reduce violent crimes among youths and subsequently reducing youth arrests (Judah, 2013).