Serious Young Violent Offenders essay

This report summarizes the findings regarding the causes of crimes and remedies of serious young violent offenders. The received data suggests that children and adolescents are not protected enough from adopting deviant behaviors that may result in serious crimes. As a result of observational learning, the youth copies the behavior of their role models and other persons from close social circles. Besides, it is detected that psychological, developmental, social, biological, economic, and geographic factors contribute to the formation of a criminal identity. In this regard, one should stress that the earlier a child starts to commit violent crimes, the more serious and consistent this trend is likely to become in his/her adulthood. In addition, the accessibility of crime weapons increases the possibility of juvenile violence. Overall, the current report suggests that to become a criminal, a child or a teenager should be exposed to several aforementioned factors. This insight implies that by reducing risk factors, it is possible to lessen the ratio of youth violence.

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Introduction

Serious young violent offenders are a special category of criminals. In particular, criminal youth is treated differently (more lenient punishment) than adult offenders. Moreover, juvenile violence is observed as less threatening for society and thus, in most cases, the corresponding crime does not lead to imprisonment. Besides, the definition of a violent crime is vague and it is not always clear what kind of misconduct should be considered as an act of violence. Hence, violent actions such as homicide, aggravated assault, rape, and robbery are almost always treated as serious violent crimes. Striving to enhance knowledge of the reasons for and remedies of serious juvenile violent offences, this paper will identify and discuss the dynamics of youth violence and various assumptions concerning the causes of crimes, and provide appropriate recommendations.

Purpose of Study

The purpose of this paper is to explain the development of serious violent offenders, applying to Albert Banduras social learning theory. Moreover, other assumptions, such as economic, geographic, social, biological, developmental, and psychological should be considered. Besides, it will analyze the accessibility of crime weapons used for committing violence. In addition, this research is aimed at detecting the connection between the age of young criminals and the severity of crimes.

Literature Review

Dynamics of Youth Violence

Scholars emphasize that the earlier a young person starts to resort to violence, the more likely he/she will become a serious violent offender. Consider the statistics,

39 percent of children who initiated violent behavior by age 9 eventually became chronic offenders, 30 percent of those who initiated violence between the ages of 10 and 12 became chronic offenders, and 23 percent of those who initiated violence after age 13 became chronic violent offenders.

This statistics is supported by the similar data obtained by the associates of NPIA. Mclean and Beak accentuate that potential serious violent offenders can be identified before puberty (or during this period), which means that many crimes can be prevented if children receive needed treatment on time.

To reduce the ratio of juvenile violence, one should detect the causes of crimes. For instance, Center for Problem-Oriented Policing attracts attention to the issue of youth gun violence. This issue kills or injures tens of thousands of Americans every year. Given this finding, it is natural to suggest that criminal misuse of guns is considered to be the prevailing cause of committing serious violent crimes among minors. Undoubtedly, this statistics can be different in other states, but one should understand that violence requires a crime instrument. This peculiarity is especially relevant to children and adolescent types of violence because they may not have enough physical strength to murder or cause serious injuries otherwise. Therefore, it is assumed that most serious young violent offenders need crime weapons, which implies that the youth strives to get access to weapons. The next section is aimed at explaining why young people commit violent crimes.

Social Learning Theory

Social learning theory was developed by Albert Bandura to describe the process of the formation of self-identity in social environment. This concept is based on the idea of reciprocal determinism. According to Bandura, reciprocal determinism implies that the world and a persons behavior cause each other. In this regard, learning the proper behavioural patterns as well as acquisition of deviations occurs through observational learning and self-regulation. Observational learning means adopting behaviours of other people. The development of violence in children and teenagers greatly depends on the behaviours that they observe. In the first place, it includes the actions of childrens role models and other individuals who belong to their closest social circles. Besides, social learning theory complies with the aforementioned claim that young people who are treated with violence in their childhood are more prone to become violent offenders.

At the same time, Bandura explains that socially influenced behaviours can be eliminated with the help of self-regulation. Specifically, adolescents and adults are capable of monitoring own actions in order to define if they fit the general behavioural standards set by their community. Albert Bandura speculates that if, over the years, you find yourself meeting your standards and life loaded with self-praise and self-reward, you will have a pleasant self-concept. Nevertheless, in a case if a persons approach to meeting behavioural standards fails, he/she will have poor self-esteem, which correlates with the idea of self-punishment for this failure. In this way, social learning theory explains the tendency towards increasing seriousness of the crimes committed by minorities. Constant failure to meet standards leads to the decrease of self-esteem; to regain it, young people often employ wrong strategies (more criminal actions). Alternatively, they feel unable to change their criminal behaviour, which prevents effective self-regulation. What is more, it is important to remember the mutual influence of behaviour and environment.

Young violent offenders are formed while observing the cruelty of others, but simultaneously, their behaviour changes their social environment. In particular, minor violent offenders start to be treated less friendly by their community (if not with hostility); when the environment becomes tougher, it encourages young offenders to react accordingly, which implies perpetrating escalating violence. It is necessary to clarify that Bandura recognizes punishment as an ineffective measure for adjusting behaviour. On the contrary, punishment of children and teenagers often backfires on their punishers, it is less effective than acknowledgement of a wrongdoing and application of self-regulation strategies. The aforementioned rationale provides insight into the behavioural patterns of juvenile serious offenders, assessing it from the perspective of social learning theory. Apart from that, there are other approaches to explaining the cases of serious violence in children and adolescents.

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Assumptions of the Reasons of Crime

  • Biological

The advocators of the premise that potential serious violent individuals can be distinguished in early childhood apply to biological reasons. A biological assumption concerning the causes of crimes is based on the idea that criminal behavior is either inherited or formed under certain biological conditions. These conditions include neurobiological damages received by a fetus during pregnancy. Besides, scholars believe that the change of a brain structure caused by birth injury or other kinds of traumas predefines the development of mental imparities that, in part, lead to acquiring a deviant behavior. Moreover, the impact of hormones is considered to be a possible reason for crimes. Despite the fact that the above-mentioned reasons are biological, scholars agree that these deviations become the causes of a criminal behavior mostly when they are reinforced with a corresponding environment.

  • Developmental Life-Course

A developmental life-course assumption about the reasons for crimes seeks to connect the interaction between individual factors such as genetics and personality, and social factors such as family and community wellbeing. This premise refers to the crimes that are committed not in childhood but during the period of late adolescence because internal and external factors require time to interact and reinforce one another. Hence, it goes without saying that the time of the initial crime varies from a person to person.

  • Psychological

The psychological assumption suggests that violence is a result of an unfavorable influence on a childs psyche. Given that this premise refers to early childhood and adolescence, it is natural to deduce that it assigns the lion share of responsibility for a childs mental well-being to his/her care-givers. In these terms, psychological causes of crimes include child-rearing practices, attachment, neglect, abuse, supervision, and the parents own anti-social or criminal behavior. In spite of the fact that in such cases care-givers are responsible for the development of psychological deviations, described by Bandura social learning is an important variable that may predefine the development of psychological injuries in children and teenagers. Moreover, there can be individual causes of committing violence, these are difficulty connecting actions and consequences, adapting to new circumstances, processing information to set and realize goals. In addition, there is a high probability that young criminals suffer from chronic under arousal and abnormal biochemical activity.

  • Sociological

Social assumptions to the causes of crime seek to explain the development of deviance as a result of a malevolent community in which a young personality develops. In other words, this approach implies that society creates deviants and encourages them to engage in violent behaviors. The factors that may stipulate violent crimes in minors are social inequality; the influence of peers; social disorganisation in a community; the consequences for an individual of being unable to achieve social success; and the role of criminal sub-cultures, including gangs. Apart from that, one should point out that consistent deviant behaviors stem from disability of a criminals community to correct his/her reproachful behavior. Simply put, society fails to provide effective methods of restraining violent behaviors in youth.

  • Geographic

Geographic theories suggest that the intensity of crimes differ from one place to another. Considering that certain regions of a city/town are more criminalized than others, it is important to learn the patterns of crimes ratio distribution in order to understand what geographic factors predefine the growth of crimes. For instance, social segregation divides regions for favorable and dangerous, forcing people to settle in accordance with their income and social position. Poverty and social inequality contribute to the increase of crimes in the neighborhood. Besides, the regions infrastructure, urban accessibility stipulate the development of criminal spots. As a result, the youth who lives in potentially dangerous areas is more likely to be engaged in a criminal behavior.

  • Economic

Economic assumptions to the cases of crime imply that people respond rationally to the costs and benefits of criminal opportunities. In other words, criminals, including the young ones, may be encouraged to commit serious violence if it is economically profitable and accompanied with insignificant negative outcomes (for example, the absence of imprisonment for minors). At the same time, if the benefits of crime are low and there is a high social appraisal of a criminal-free behavior, children and teenagers are supposed to acknowledge financial advantages of maintaining a law-abiding lifestyle.

Recommendations

Taking into account the above-discussed findings, one should provide the following recommendations. In particular, the accessibility of weapons to children should be taken under control. This approach suggests striker control over weapons in the households where minors live. Besides, the sale of guns must be better controlled to exclude the probability of illegal ownership of weapons. What is more, according to biological assumptions about the causes of crime, one should recommend establishing more rigorous control over minors plausible smoking, drinking, and drug abuse. Besides, it is also necessary to prevent the harmful influences of substances on a fetus, which means setting the initiatives that should encourage pregnant women to avoid smoking, drug, and alcohol abuse.

Furthermore, in terms of the developmental assumption, it is advisable to provide social assistance to future parents in order to prepare them to be good care-givers. In addition, newborns and their families should be monitored, at least for a while. Also, social agencies have to assure that children receive adequate care. Moreover, to prevent psychological deviations, it is necessary to implement early prevention programs in educational faculties that can help identify the risk group and anticipate the development of serious deviance. Besides, to limit a plausible negative action of a childs society, one should consider setting the initiatives that stress the benevolent aspects of culture and form a positive cultural identity of the growing generation. Furthermore, from the geographic perspective, the local authority must assure the safety of all regions by providing stronger support of police officers in criminal neighborhoods. Finally, considering the economic assumptions, it is necessary to increase the financial support of law-abiding citizens while enhancing the appropriate costs of criminal actions.

Reflective Narrative

This preparation of this report requires throughout subject learning, which a different approach is comparing to lecture topic-centered learning because it encourages obtaining and incorporating the insights from numerous related areas. In addition, this research requires connecting the data that is retrieved from the diverse spheres. For example, the issue of serious violent offenders is discussed from the psychological, social, economic, urban, legal, and other viewpoints. What is more, it is necessary to connect practical observations with the theoretical concepts, for example, Social Learning Theory is scrutinized from the perspective of what practical implications it suggests for the juvenile offenders and their communities.

Moreover, my learning trajectory was greatly shaped by the necessity to provide practical recommendations. This task encourages thinking about the problem of serious young offenders more thoroughly and more broadly at the same time. Besides, the obtained results changed my viewpoint about the juvenile violence. In particular, since my perception of this problem was advanced, I start to consider violent offences committed by minors to be even more serious social issues than the cases of the similar adult violence. This attitude is mostly predefined by the fact that young criminal offenders are taken less seriously and, in overall, are believed to be less harmful for their communities, even though the truth may be the opposite. Juvenile criminal offenders are the basis of the crimes committed by adults, but it seems that they are not treated adequately and, thus, their criminal actions become repetitive. In this way, my attitude toward the researched topics was shaped with the obtained information.

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Serious Young Violent Offenders essay

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