Finally having some time to do some things on this blog is satisfying. I started looking for topics to discuss and of course, I was at a loss. Then it hit me; write what you know. The subject of juvenile delinquency came out of that.
I started my professional career as a juvenile probation officer in Deaf Smith County of the Texas panhandle. It was a great place to start and a great staff and chief to learn from. The county seat of Deaf Smith County is Hereford. The population is 75% Hispanic. So, for me, as a Caucasian, I was in a world that I never knew existed. The learning curve was sharp and dangerous. Trying to learn a new position, learn juvenile delinquency, and learn the new culture threw my head into a spin. I left that town 6 years later with a great learning experience and happy that’s where I had started.
Juvenile delinquency is an issue that still boggles my mind. What makes an adolescent engage in criminality? I understand juvenile behavior. I understand the legal aspect. I understand the juvenile probation side. But the standard answers lie within the physical upbringing, the supervision, the bonding, and the association with others in society. Many variables come together to have a person participate in criminal acts.
Are people born bad? No, but they can be born into bad situations. The living environment can be a dangers slope. If the parents are engaged in drugs or crime, then the child is at higher risk of being involved in crime. If the child is a victim of abuse or neglect, be it physical, sexual, or emotional, it will hinder growth. Also, the bonding of a child and the parents. Both parents. Most households in America consists of blended families and single-parent homes. In this aspect, I plead to both parents to make sure the kids come first if they are not one unity.
The associations that the child has outside the home is a variable that the parents may not be complete control over. In criminology, differential association is a theory developed by Edwin Sutherland. He proposed that through interaction with others, individuals learn the values, attitudes, techniques, and motives for criminal behavior. This basically means that individuals will imitate the criminal behavior of others.
This does ensure job security for the juvenile probation officers. That was my attempt at some criminal justice humor.
In conclusion, parents please be the best parents you can be for your children. Eliminate the abuse, drugs, criminality, and domestic violence inside the home. Attempt to know who your kids are associating with and who they are becoming.
Stay safe friends,