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Juveniles-Delinquency Prevention


Juvenilesare individuals that are below the age of 18. These people areconsidered as underage. When such a person commits a crime that anadult can get incarcerated for, the offense is called a delinquency(Downes, 2013). According to the crime solutions website, suchfelonies involve crimes against another individual, offenses againstpublic or private property, drug charges, and disruption of thesocial peace. A juvenile that subjects themselves in delinquentbehavior is certain to disrupt their life (NIJ, 2016). They mayengage in use and addiction of substances they may drop out ofschool they can end up serving jail time they are susceptible toinjury that can be even fatal, or they will end up as adults thatparticipate in criminal actions (Petrosino et al., 2013). The risingnumbers of juveniles in the last few decades led to the enactment ofthe Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Act of 1974. The bill wasenforced in 2002. The Act attempts to provide an early preventionmethod for youths that are likely to be involved in acts delinquencyas well as offer rehabilitation for the juveniles that have alreadyhad prior infractions with the justice department (Levesque, 2011).The deterrence of delinquency attempts to protect the individualsthat are at risk of such acts from dire consequences. There areseveral risk factors that might make a young person participate insuch felonies, however, none of them is a definite cause. Thesefactors can be personal, family, peer pressure, or the society(Downes, 2013). There have been several programs that have beenresearched to see their viability in the prevention of delinquenttendencies.

Thispaper will evaluate the study on two of the papers. The first studythat is considered “Red” was ineffective while the secondresearch, which was deemed effective, is dubbed “Green.” The‘’Red” is called Juvenile Awareness Program (Scared Straight)and the second “Green” study is called Big Brothers Big Sisters(BBBS) Community-Based Mentoring (CBM) Program (Levesque, 2011).The two programs will also be compared to their effectiveness andrecommendations will be provided for each.

JuvenileAwareness Program (Scared Straight) – Red

Thisprogram is structured towards the prevention of delinquent behaviorsby making juveniles that are at-risk visit the adult department ofcorrections. These youths are exposed to the prison life and at theyeven get to interact with a few of the inmates (Levesque, 2011). Theselected prisoners attempt to instill fear in these individuals sothat they can comprehend how bad an incarcerated life is like.Through scaring them, they should see how their future life will turnout like and, therefore, they have to change their ways. The mostfamous program is known as Scared Straight (NIJ, 2016).

Thetarget of the study is the youth that is below the age of 18 and hasprior charges of delinquency, or their chances of interacting indelinquent activities are high (NIJ, 2016).

Thehypothesis for the program is that the prison visits by at-riskjuveniles will result in the reduction of delinquent behaviorincidences compared to the same persons that did not participate inthe program.

Theindependent variable in the study was the at-risk youths or thesubsequent offenders that did not participate in the program. Theyare considered as independent because their actions were not affectedby the study’s determinant. The dependent variable was thejuveniles that took part in the program. They are the dependentvariable since the results of their behavior should be influencedwith the study criterion (Yin, 2013).

Thedata collection method used evaluated the independent variable andrecorded the number of those that offended or re-offended. The datafor the dependent variable was also gathered using the same procedure(Yin, 2013).

Thelimitations of the study were that the researchers did not try toenforce the issue of gender disparity in their test subjects and theywere also unable to clearly define each minority ethnic group of thesubjects that took part. Thus, the findings from the study could notbe subjected to the entire population (Yin, 2013).

Thestrengths of the research were that it was conducted through severalstudies in different regions and that they randomly selected theirparticipants (Yin, 2013).

Theweaknesses of the study were that it did not consider any otherfactors that might have led to such deviant behavior in theirsubjects and also the participants were likely to commit a crime infuture (Yin, 2013).

Thebarriers that hampered the implementation of the study were that theprogram would be too costly for the taxpayers and the amount wasroughly 6500 US dollars and also the study was not effective (NIJ,2016).

Therewas no variable that impacted the effectiveness of the study (NIJ,2016).

BigBrothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Community-Based Mentoring (CBM) Program –Green

Thisprogram is about exposing juveniles to adults that can act as rolemodels. These mentors are meant to impact moral values and principlesthat will ensure that the at-risk juveniles will not end upparticipating in acts of delinquency (Levesque, 2011). The positivechanges in their lives included the reduction in the instances ofantisocial behavior, use of drugs and improvement in their academicperformance (NIJ, 2016).

Thetarget population for the study was the youths that are likely toengage in felonies due to their behavior and notions on how the lawsof the society operate (NIJ, 2016).

Thehypothesis for the study was that exposure to a positive impact inthe at-risk juveniles will impact constructive change in thedevelopment of the individuals (NIJ, 2016).

Theindependent variables were the control group that did not receive anymentorship and the mentors. The dependent variable was the youth thattook part in the mentorship program (Yin, 2013).

Theprocedures used while collecting the data was through the selectionof random subjects that hailed from low-income families. Thebackground of these subjects involved both domestic and substanceabuse from their guardians. The baseline information was recorded foreach participant, and they were then posted to a random mentor. Theymet with their role models at least three times in a month where theywere guided for 4 hours. The study duration was 12 months, and atmonthly intervals, data was recorded to assess the conditions of thesubjects in all the aspects that were being tested and then the datawas compared to the baseline information. The control group also hadtheir baseline set, and regular updates of their information wererecorded. The results from the two groups were then compared fordeduction (Yin, 2013).

Thelimitation of the study was that the monthly meetings between thementors and the subjects were too few (Yin, 2013).

Thestrengths of the research were that the subjects were randomlyselected, they were diverse both in gender and race, the researchersused a large number of the subjects, and that the study duration waslong (Yin, 2013).

Theonly weakness in the study is that the frequency of the monthlymeetings between the mentor and the subject was not adequate (NIJ,2016).

Thebarrier that blocked this program’s implementation was that it wastoo expensive. The amount came to about 1000 USD for eachmentor-participant pair (NIJ, 2016).

Thevariables that impacted the effectiveness of the study were both theindependent and the dependent variables. The control group showed anegative trend in their developments while the subjects were able toshow a positive change after the data was analyzed (Yin, 2013).


Comparedto the Green program, the Red program was not effective since theresults showed that participants of the study were more likely tobecome offenders than those who did not take part. The maindifference that I would do for the Red program would be to add lovedones of the at-risk youths to those prison visits. The presence of afamily member, friend or guardian may trigger some emotions thatwould impact a positive change. The Green program should add moremonthly meetings between the mentor and the youth that is beingguided. The Red program failed because the findings of the researchwere negative whereas the findings from the research conducted forthe Green program were positive.


Theneed to prevent juveniles from delinquent behavior is an issue thatneeds to be urgently addressed. The various programs that have beendeveloped are all aimed at changing the negative behaviors of suchyouths and instill positive attributes. However, every program mustbe researched upon to ensure that it is effective.

Theassessment of the two programs from the description, the datacollection methods and the findings have shown why the Red programfailed while the Green one was effective. Taxpayers are likely to payfor such systems only when they can see evidence that what they aredoing is beneficial. Thus, to foil cases of delinquency, feasibleprograms should be created.


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Downes,D. (2013).&nbspTheDelinquent Solution (Routledge Revivals): A Study in SubculturalTheory.Routledge.

Levesque,R. J. (2011). Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.InEncyclopediaof Adolescence&nbsp(pp.1510-1512). Springer New York.

NationalInstitute of Justice. JuvenileDelinquency Prevention. CrimeSolutions.Retrieved fromhttps://www.crimesolutions.gov/TopicDetails.aspx?ID=62#practiceon November 25, 2016.

Petrosino,A., Turpin‐Petrosino,C., Hollis‐Peel,M. E., &amp Lavenberg, J. G. (2013). `Scared Straight`and otherjuvenile awareness programs for preventing juvenile delinquency.&nbspTheCochrane Library.

Yin,R. K. (2013).&nbspCasestudy research: Design and methods.Sage publications.