Juvenile delinquency refers to the antisocial or abnormal legal behavior by minors or adolescents, for dealing with juveniles, such as juvenile detention centers. A delinquent is an individual who often commits crime. Juvenile delinquency is a legal term, which if translated and applied to adults, would be deemed as a criminal offence (Bartollas & Schmalleger, 2010, p 17). In the United States, age limits and definitions of minors differ from state to state. Almost all states have put their age limits to the juvenile offender. Some states have put the age limit to a maximum of 21 years while others have it as low as 14 years (Thomas & Hunninen, 2008). Statistics have shown that a high proportion of adult criminals have a background of early delinquency (Todd, Cole & Reisig, 2010, p 104). It is therefore vital that the causes of delinquency be dealt with accordingly at an earlier stage (Cecile & Born, 2009, p 1217). In the state of Colorado there is several intervention programs that have been started to help in curbing delinquency.
The Colorado Home Intervention Program (CHIP) is a unique program that runs in the state of Colorado. It is a set program for early education within the outreach programs and services department providing services to children who have impaired hearing (Moses, 1998, p 23). It also incorporates children who are blind and their families throughout the state of Colorado. This one of a kind program is offered by the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind (CSBD). The main objective of this program is not to reduce minor crimes in the state; however it is a crucial step in the process of reducing the crime factor by minors. People born with various disabilities often feel discriminated. This can be a major factor in leading them to violent behaviors as a way of getting back to the society which they feel is abandoning them. This program helps nurture and culture the self confidence of the disabled child. More importantly, it involves the parents of the child who then is responsible for ensuring that the spirit of increasing the child self esteem is not crashed. It is likely that the child will thus grow perceiving themselves normal and not left out. In the long run therefore, the likelihood of this youth engaging in crimes at adolescence will be greatly reduced. This important program should therefore increase its scope and add the reduction of youth crime to its goals.
Substance abuse is a major cause of criminal tendencies of minors. “Having a deviant lifestyle means association with delinquent peers, living in a family in which parents and siblings abuse drugs, being alienated from dominant values of society and engaging in delinquent behaviors at an early age” (Larry & Brandon,2010,p 378). The drug intervention program in Colorado is a process utilized when all other options have been exhausted in an attempt to help an individual overcome serious drug addiction (“Drug Intervention”, 2011). This important program helps individuals become better members of society. It is however vital to note that since most of youth based crimes are being perpetrated by substance abusers; this program goes a long way in solving this problem. Targeting the youthful population on drug abuse would be an effective way of dealing with delinquency. More importantly, dealing with drug abusers at a lower age will prove easier and effective as there would be fewer adults, with a rising addiction, to deal with later (Zhang, Welte & Wieczorek, 1999, p 105). This process applied will tackle most of the youth crimes in Colorado.
It is therefore important that most running programs work together to reduce the problem of delinquency if possible. They should include the goal of eliminating youth crime at all costs. This will go a long way in ensuring a better and peaceful society and environment to live in for all.
Larry, S. & Brandon, C. (2010). Juvenile Delinquency: The Core. New York, NY: Wadsworth
Todd, C., Cole, G. & Reisig, M. (2010). American Corrections. New York, NY: Wadsworth
Moses, D. (1998). Juvenile Justice in Colorado. New Jersey, NJ: NBI.
Thomas, D. & Hunninen, M. (2008). Making things right: Meaningful Community Service for
Juvenile Offenders. Technical Assistance to the Juvenile Court Bulletin. Retrieved from
Colorado 2000 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act compliance monitoring report
covering July 1, 1999-June 30, 2000
Colorado drug intervention program. Accessed on March 8, 2011 at
Zhang, L., Welte, J. & Wieczorek, W. (1999). Youth Gangs, Drug Use, and Delinquency.
Journal of Criminal Justice, 27 (4), 101-109.
Cecile, M. & Born, M. (2009). Intervention in Juvenile Delinquency. Children and Youth
Services Review, 31 (12), 1217-1221.
Bartollas, C. & Schmalleger, F. (2010). Juvenile Delinquency. New Jersey, NJ: Prentice Hall.