Thursday, February 17, 2011

Term Paper on Delinquency

Delinquency Research Paper

Many teenagers seek out crime as a way to direct the feeling of anger, frustration, and pressure. For example, 16 year old Shatiek Johnson, a Wolf pack member, shot and killed a member of the Bloods and fatally wounding one of two undercover detectives. He was charged with a crime that was considered a first-degree murder and could end up serving life in prison or even facing the death penalty. His mother begs the court to consider that Shatiek is a juvenile, who has had a very difficult childhood, and that he is a victim of society’s indifference to the poor (Siegel, pg 31).

Juvenile delinquents like Shatiek are profiled by age, gender, type of crimes, race, and social class.


The majority of juvenile’s ages range from 13 to 18. Juveniles under the age of 17, make up about 10 percent of the total United States population(Siegel, pg 43). However, they account for about 27 percent of the index crime arrests and account for about 17 percent of the arrests of all crimes in the United States(Siegel, pg 43). In the year 2000, juveniles under the age of 15 committed about 5 percent of all index violent crimes, 12 percent of all index property crimes, 10 percent of all index crimes, and 6 percent of all crimes(Siegel, pg 34). For example, in 1993, the number of murders by juveniles was at its peak. For 15 year olds, there were 500 murders committed by a juvenile, 800 murders committed by 16 year olds, and 1,100 murders committed by 17 year olds ( In 1998, those numbers decreased significantly. For 15 year olds, there were 225 murders committed, for 16 year olds, there were 500 murders committed, and for 17 year olds, there were 800 murders committed (

As juveniles get older in age, they begin to start the process of aging-out. Aging-out process is the tendency for youths to reduce the frequency of their offending behavior as they age(Siegel, pg 43). The process occurs between the ages of 25 and 45. There are five major causes which lead to this process. The first cause is growing older means having to face the future (Siegel, pg 43). In their youth, these young people tend to “discount the future” and once they grow older come to realize their mistakes of the past (Siegel, pg 43). The next cause is with maturity comes the ability to resist the “quick fix” to problems (Siegel, pg 43). “Research show that some kids may turn to crime as a way to solve the problems of adolescence, loneliness, frustration, and the fear of peer rejection” (Siegel, pg 43-44). Once they grow older they come to realize that such practices will not fix their problems. Another cause of aging-out process is maturation coincides with increased levels of responsibility (Siegel, pg 44). “As youths grow older, they take on new responsibilities that are in consistent with criminality” (Siegel, pg 44). The fourth cause is personalities can change with age. As rebellious youths mature, they develop more self-control and become less antisocial (Siegel, pg 44). The last reason is young adults become more aware of the risks that accompany crimes (Siegel, pg 44). As one grows older, they come to realize the consequences of their actions. This is due to maturity as well as being legally responsible for one’s self.

Official arrest statistics, victim data, and self-reports indicate that males are significantly more criminal than females (Siegel, pg 39). The teenage gender ratio for serious violent crime is approximately 6 to 1, and for property crime, approximately 2.5 to 1, male to female (Siegel, pg 39). In 1998, 89 percent of all murders reported that year, were committed by males (

That same year, 83 percent of all murders reported were committed by male juveniles as well as 93 percent of all homicides were committed by male juveniles ( However, in the past few years, the arrests of female delinquents have increased but the arrests of male delinquents have decreased. Between 1990 and 2000, the numbers of arrest of male delinquents have decreased by about 3 percent compared to a 25 percent increase in arrest of female delinquents (Siegel, pg 40). The same result occurs in violent crimes, where arrests of male delinquents have decreased by 23 percent in comparison to 28 percent increase of female arrests (Siegel, pg 40). As the growing number of arrests of male delinquents decrease, there has become a significant rise in female delinquent arrest.

There is one major category of crimes committed by juveniles. Index Crimes are offenses including murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and burglary (Siegel, pg 32). Index crimes are committed every 2.7 seconds in the United States ( In 1998, there were 12.5 million Index crime defenses reported to the police, which is a 5 percent reduction from 1976 ( A year later, there were 11.7 million Index crime defenses reported to the police, which was a 7 percent reduction (

Murder is the smallest of all index crimes, is committed every 33 minutes ( In 1998, there were 17,000 murders and approximately 49.5 per day ( Forcible rape is the most under reported index crime but occurs every 5.8 minutes ( The majority of rape is done by males with female victims. In 1998, 67 out of 1,000 rapes of women were reported ( Robbery occurred every 1.3 minutes in 1998 ( In 1998, there was 446 million dollars of stolen property ( The two most common robberies are banks and gas stations. In 1998, 4, 500 dollars was stolen per bank robbery compared to 546 dollars stolen per gas station robbery ( Aggravated assault takes up about 64 percent of all the index crimes ( It occurs every 34.6 seconds ( In 1998, there were 974,000 aggravated assault crimes committed ( The majority of these crimes are done by blunt objects, fire arms, and cutting instruments. That year, 33 percent of aggravated assault crimes were done by blunt objects, 19 percent by fire arms, and 20 percent by cutting instruments ( In 1998, burglaries occurred every 15 seconds ( During the same year, there were 2.3 million burglaries reported, 3.1 billion dollars worth of stolen property during the burglaries ( Burglaries are usually committed during the daylight hours and are usually done by forcible entry. As the number of index crimes goes down yearly, the increase of juvenile delinquents crimes have risen.

In the United States today, there are 38 million white youths aging from 5 to 17 compared to 7.5 million African American youths (Siegel, pg 40). “Yet, racial minorities are disproportionately represented in the arrest statistics” (Siegel, pg 40). African American youths are more likely to be formally arrested by the police in contrast to the white youths, who will just be treated informally (Siegel, pg 41). However, the delinquent behaviors of African American and white youths are very similar. Of the committed murders in 1998, both African American and whites accounted for 49 percent of them. In the status offenses reported in 1998, 10 percent of white youths smoked marijuana compared to 9 percent of African American youths. 10 percent of white delinquents carried a handgun in comparison to 8 percent of African Americans. 21 percent of white youths have destroyed property compared to 18 percent of African Americans ( Although, African American youths are more likely racially discriminated against than white youths, there is a similarity in the number of crimes committed by each.

The relationship between crime and class has become very clear. Youths who lack wealth or social standing are most likely to use criminal activities to achiever their goals (Siegel, pg 43).

Poor and affluent kids get into fights, shoplift, and take drugs, but only the indigent are likely to be arrested and sent to juvenile court (Siegel, pg 43). The lower class youths are not the only delinquents participating in criminal activities. Middle- and upper-class engage in some forms of minor illegal activities and theft offenses, but the lower class youths are responsible for the majority of serious delinquent acts (Siegel, pg 43). The lower class juveniles tend to commit the more serious crimes due to beliefs they can never compete with the middle and upper class juveniles social and economically.

Juvenile delinquents commit 30 percent of all violent crime offenses ( As a result of their age, gender, race, and social class they look to crimes to solve their problems. Age plays a role as a result of immaturity. Once they grow up, they begin to grow out of these practices. The majority of crimes are committed by males but there has been a steady increase by crimes committed by females. Although media depicts minorities as the major crime committers, however white juveniles commit just as many. Juveniles born into lower class families tend to commit more serious crimes than upper and middle class, who take part in minor crimes. Juveniles, who fall into these profiles, are most likely commit serious crimes that may lead to serious consequences.

Warning!!! All free sample term papers and college term paper examples on Delinquency topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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