Social of where they live. The problem is that

Social Disorganization Theory

One of the most
fundamental approaches to the study of juvenile delinquency emanates from the
Chicago-school research of Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay. Their theory – the
social disorganization theory – links crime rates to neighborhood ecological
characteristics. The core principle of this theory is that the probability of a
person being involved in illegal activities is shaped by that person’s
residential location. In other words, this theory proposes the idea that the
place where a person lives is a more significant determinant than an individual’s
characteristics, such as gender, age, or race when predicting criminal activity.

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Shaw and McKay
found out that the delinquency rates were impressively high in disadvantaged
urban areas marked by culture conflict, lack of cohesiveness, a transient
population, and insufficient social organization. In their research, they noted
that socially disorganized neighborhoods tended to produce criminal traditions
that could be conveyed to successive generations of youths due to the lack of
behavioral control mechanisms and the cultural transmission of distorted
values.

Rehabilitation Centers – Real
Solution?

Although the
American Juvenile System is rigorous as regards sentencing a juvenile after
committing an offense, it has not proven to be a deterrent to juvenile
delinquency. There is an indication that adolescents who live in poor,
crime-ridden residential areas have less parental support and supervision and
suffer more financial hardship. These factors contribute to high levels of
anti-social behavior. Youths under such circumstance are more exposed to
violent peer groups’ norms, leading to deviant attitudes and activities.

It has been long
established that parents who do not have a strong supervision and positive
involvement in their children’s life tremendously expose them to delinquent
outcomes, including violent offending. Several studies have pointed out that
low parental support contributes to adolescents’ involvement with deviant peers
which massively affects criminality rates among young people. Another factor
that impacts the rates of juvenile delinquency is he economic status of the
community. Delinquent rates are normally higher in areas with economic
decline and instability.

The American
Juvenile System has several processes to deter and punish juvenile offending
and to maintain public safety, including arrest, detainment, petitions,
hearings, adjudications, dispositions, placement, probation, and reentry.
Although the main goals of the juvenile justice system are rehabilitation,
addressing treatment needs, and successful reintegration of youth into the
society, the majority of adolescents involved in violent offending do not
respond well to these efforts.

Nowadays, one very
common method to address juvenile offenders is rehabilitation. Rehabilitation
centers are known to provide mechanisms that contribute to give these youths a
new perspective, teaching principles that are the base of a well-established
society, such honesty, compassion, and hard work. Nevertheless, when these
youths leave the rehabilitation centers, they are confronted again by the
reality of where they live. The problem is that just rehabilitation does not
help these juveniles efficaciously in their daily life outside the centers,
because in their neighborhood dynamics, conventional institutions of social
control are weak and unable to regulate the behavior of the neighborhoods’
youths.

In addition, the
social disorganization in these transitional neighborhoods reduces social
capital a lot and weakens the collective efficacy of control and support of
adolescents within the neighborhood, thereby it increases crime and violence
rate. The likelihood of undesirable behaviors increases where social values are
deteriorated. For that reason, it is difficult to assure efficacy in these
juvenile offenders’ rehabilitation.

Prevention Attitudes

Delinquency
prevention seeks to redirect youth who are considered at-risk for delinquency
or who have committed a delinquent offense from deeper involvement in the
juvenile justice system. First of all, families, churches, school, and the
government must be included to mitigate the deleterious effects of social
disorganization. Intervening mechanisms should be established to decrease
criminal activities in a neighborhood, for instance, youths’ local friendship
networks, the prevalence of supervised peer groups, and centers for organizational
participation in the neighborhood’s issues.

Strengths-based,
advocacy oriented programs that divert arrested youth from formal processing in
the juvenile justice system and provide them community-based services should be
available. These programs can significantly reduce the rates of official
delinquency. Also, programs designed to foster the development of interrelated
sets of cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies, in order to provide
a foundation for better adjustment and academic performance in students, can
result in more positive social behaviors, fewer conduct problems, and less
emotional distress. This kind of intervention can have significant improvements
on youths’ self-determination, mental health empowerment, transition planning,
career self-efficacy, hope, and can help them overcome barriers.

Programs that
reduce initiating drug and
alcohol use and antisocial behavior need to be part of the routine of these
neighborhoods. They should also provide emotional support to parents and their
children and be aimed to improve the situation of street-connected children and
young people. There is a need of interventions that reduce bullying and
victimization in school settings and increase positive involvement in the bullying
situation from bystanders and witnesses.

In conclusion, there must be an attempt to attenuate youth deliquency. The
social disorganization theory suggests that family preservation programs should
be funded. Strong families can be able to resist the deleterious effects of
social disorganization on their children, and they can also work together to
reduce social disorganization in their communities. In order to decrease
juvenile delinquency and its violent outcomes, policy implications must be
applied by the government and the community to work as deterrence and to give
these young people the possibility to change the dynamic of their neighborhoods
to promote a better enviro

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