Preventing Juvenile Crime Through Social Process Theories

The following are the five selected programs and initiatives supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: Truancy Reduction Demonstration Program, Tribal Youth Programs and Services, Program of Research on the Cause and Correlates of Delinquency, Juvenile Drug Courts/Reclaiming Futures Program and finally, the Crimes against Children Research Center.

The Program of Research on the Causes and Correlates of Delinquency is a program that seeks to establish the causes of the onset of delinquency among people. It is entirely a research program that is geared towards the ultimate goal of preservation of the societal structure and the entire social organization. It is based on the study of the social interactions and its repetitive patterns to improve and impart the understanding of violence, serious delinquency and drugs. It examines how youths develop within the socialization agents like the school, family, peers and the community. The entire program is therefore based on the social process principle with the analysis of the youth’s social developmental concepts (Cressey et al., 1969).

Truancy Reduction Demonstration Program is a program that incorporates the following social processes; community collaborations, family continuum services, public awareness as well as successful system reforms. The program is targeting the school as a major socialization element. It seeks to reduce the number of truant children that do not stay in school as expected of them. This is yet another program based on the social process principle.  It seeks to point out the key causative social factors to truancy both in school and in the community (National Advisory Committee, 1976). Its ultimate goal is preventing the truant from graduating into delinquency. This program is again built on the assumptions based on the social structural approaches. It describes the school and the whole community’s social structure in relation to truancy.

Tribal Youth Programs and Services is a program based on the tribal approaches involving the youth tribal governance coming up with prevention measures for delinquency. It is built on the assumptions of the social structure of particular tribes. It aims at preservation of the tribal social structures and the tribal cultures thereby reducing violent crimes and improving the tribal juvenile justice system. Theoretically, this program is categorized under the socio-cultural theory.

Juvenile Drug Courts/Reclaiming Futures Program provides interventions, treatment as well as structure to the youths involved in delinquency and substance abuse. The program is built on the societal reformations that limit and discourage substance abuse and delinquency (Agnew, 2009). The program views delinquency as a product of people’s interactions with one another, institutions as well as other processes in the society that give room for substance use and abuse. It can be classified as a result of social-behavioral theory.

Crimes against children research center deals with crimes against children.  It focuses on both inside and outside the family as a socialization element. Examines the family’s interactions with the child and majors on prevention of child victimizations.  Theoretically, this program has its origin from the social process theory.

In summary, the following programs from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency are based on the social process principle; the Formula Grants Program, Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws, National Gang Center, National Juvenile Information Sharing Initiative, Safe Start, Tribal Youth Program and Truancy Reduction Demonstration Program. These programs are built on the assumptions drawn from the social structural processes. They all suggest the role of social interactions with socially deficit individuals in the onset of delinquency or criminality (Simpson, 2002).

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