Juvenile Delinquency Correlation to Adult Crime

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Aug 31, 2023
Cite this
Date added
Pages:  5
Order Original Essay

How it works

The positive correlation between the lack of treatment programs and depression across juvenile delinquency is strongly intact, and improvements in our legal system are much needed. Ng, Shen, Sim, Sarri, Stoffregen, & Shook, (2011) bring to our attention that despite current evidence clearly showing higher rates of depression among incarcerated youth, we have still failed to look at how depression is linked with incarceration. Their findings show that charging youth as adults in our criminal justice system is a highly debated topic and yet clearly shows the impact on depression compared to juvenile placements and community-based youths.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

“The odds of being depressed rather than not depressed for the group in adult incarceration was 64 times that of community youths, 22 times that of minor offenders in their study and 37 times that of serious offenders in juvenile placements”.

Facts show us that the chances of depression for youths who are incarcerated as adults were at least 20 times those of any other group, after controlling for all other background factors. Authors strongly suggest that this population can benefit greatly from proper diagnosis and care services provided by our system. They challenge the judgment of placing youths in adult prisons and question the sentencing decision of our legal system due to the impact it can have on the life course perspective. This goes into focusing on the rehabilitation and reintegration of youthful past offenders into society. In addition, processing youths in adult systems fails to provide on both spectrums of general deterrence to affect the rate of crime and also specific deterrence to control recidivism.

There are crucial mental health conclusions to be drawn when it comes to incarcerating youths in adult prisons. This controversial topic has failed to receive the attention it needs and to be considered adequately. In conclusion, the impact that mental health, including depression, can have on youths being incarcerated as adults is a correlation that can’t be ignored yet continues to strive for change. According to Messier & Ward, (1998), who studied high ability youth earlier as well, bring to our attention that there has been a contrast between observations of juvenile justice, mental health, and juvenile corrections authorities.

They focus on the connection between high correlation of suicide ideation, behavior, attempts, and suicide itself, and depression for incarcerated youth. Looking at major depressive disorders, 15%-18%, they discovered that offending juveniles show such symptoms. Authors explain that none of the youth they studied were identified by the screening process as being depressed or falling under the category of high ability, currently or previously. This suggests “profound inefficiency in current detention center intake and classification procedures”. They explain that it’s clear that security focuses on preventing self-harm and suicide for youth, but not enough measures are taken towards rehabilitation and mental health services.

They recommend that screening for depression should be a mandatory step for incarcerated delinquents to have a better understanding of their mental state, as one improvement in our system. They refer to the rate of depression that their study revealed “should be seen not only as a potential liability but as a mental health emergency by juvenile detention authorities. According to the research, there was a lack of focus on looking at rehabilitation and treatment across gender, but overall, it’s clear to see the need for improvement in our screening for mental health and the negative impact of adult prisons on depression.

Research limitations are present in some of the research that we have studied here, which must be addressed. Some data limitations behind the findings of Diamantopoulou, Verhulst, & Van Der Ende (2011) are based on a community sample. This implies that results are most likely to generalize clinical samples, which can cause differences in ethnic groups. Additionally, other significant aspects such as stressful life events and family relations that might impact the link between delinquency and depression were not included by the authors. In the study done by Johnson et al. (2011), there was limited data present due to the sample size being too small. Also, a disproportionate sample is present when it comes to ethnicity. For example, the sample was 65% White, 27% African American, and 7% of other races/ethnicities.

In the findings of Ng, Shen, Sim, Sarri, Stoffregen, & Shook (2011), there were differences in the background of the samples such as age, socioeconomic status, offending, and parental profiles of criminal history, which can be problematic for comparison. Holzer, Oh, Salas-Wright, Vaughn, & Landess (2018) indicate limitations in their data based on self-reports; this can occasionally be an issue due to reliance on respondents’ memory, potentially leading to false reporting. Kofler, McCart, Zajac, Ruggiero, Saunders, & Kilpatrick (2011) presented limitations by using a telephone survey method—this excluded youths living in households without landline telephone service. Additionally, they focused exclusively on severe delinquent behavior. Reynolds & Crea (2015) encountered a challenge because there are obstacles to selection bias when studying peer influence.

Moreover, the techniques they used can easily cause limitations because technology’s recent pervasive influence on our lives can impact how people build relationships over social media, thus playing a role in peer influence impact. Additionally, important measures such as bullying and cyberbullying behaviors were not taken into consideration. These are just some of the crucial data limitations highlighted by the authors in their research. In conclusion, linking delinquency and depression across juvenile delinquency is indeed a challenge. We assume delinquent males and females will exhibit easily understood negative or positive correlations when it comes to depression. However, as we delved deeper into literature and author findings, things turned out to be considerably more complex, with findings mixed and often conflicting when looking across genders.

The most challenging factor about this topic is mental illness in delinquency overall is such a broad and controversial discussion. To narrow it down to specifically depression is even more difficult because, despite being a common illness, it’s the least studied in this field. Psychosis, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia seem to be more commonly studied when it comes to their impact on juvenile delinquency. We learned that there is a positive correlation between depression and juvenile delinquency, with property crime taking the lead. In terms of age, females seem to be impacted more with increasing depression as they age, whereas males are headed to the pathway of delinquency in early adolescence. However, when looking at the eventual adult outcome, the findings for males are poorer in both domains.

However, overall, major depressive episodes are increasing for female juvenile offenders. Girls incarcerated in the criminal justice system reported higher levels of depression than did boys, and both genders predicted greater support from their families resulting in lower depression rates as a preventive measure. When it comes to risk factors, males are more impacted by victimization and peer influence, while females are more impacted by symptoms of childhood depression as early signs. However, at the end of the day, male depression is more likely than female depression to result in delinquency.

The next aspect that was an obstacle in this research is choosing to examine it across genders. The dominant belief and generally accepted view is that males are much more likely than females to commit delinquent acts, and that when females do offend, it’s significantly less serious than that of males. Despite there being an increasing number of females involved in delinquent activities and more females being associated with status offenses, there is a huge gap between male and female delinquency in juveniles throughout history. This is referred to as the “Gender Paradox Effect” which is the unequal gender ratio gap in juvenile justice impacting research. There has always been less focus on female delinquency due to males always being in the spotlight.

Due to the disproportionately low numbers of female delinquent youth compared to males, research limitations were definitely present when attempting to link the impact of depression. At the end of the day, we have learned that there is a clear positive correlation between depression and juvenile delinquency. Each gender is impacted in different areas, and it’s difficult to conclude if one is more significantly impacted than the other due to the variety of variables taken into consideration in our studies. However, male depression is more likely than female depression to result in delinquency, even though female juvenile offenders are reporting increased major depressive episodes. It is believed that future research should focus on gender-specific treatments for juveniles suffering with depression. It’s crucial to accommodate the needs based on the gender of incarcerated youths in our system.

The gender gap in mental illness and delinquency can’t be overlooked, but I believe one area that deserves further research to understand how to maximize our efforts to offer care for both genders appropriately is studying the influence of sex hormones in females. Our juvenile system should consider sex and gender in depressed youth across juvenile delinquency more strongly, including more intense efforts in screening. Additionally, the significant impact and results of placing juveniles in adult prisons who are suffering from depression should be studied more closely. These are just few steps into improving our legal system for juvenile delinquents who are suffering with a mental illness.

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

Juvenile Delinquency Correlation to Adult Crime. (2022, Feb 10). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/juvenile-delinquency-correlation-to-adult-crime/