Types of Juvenile Delinquency Crimes

Updated on December 15, 2017
Shesabutterfly profile image

Cholee has a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and has volunteered her time in juvenile group homes.

Youth crime has been going down for many years and only constitutes a small portion of the nation's crime today. Juvenile violent crime has also gone down and is at its lowest level since 1987. Just as with the adult system the juvenile system suffers from gender and ethnic disparity. Male minorities are more likely than female Caucasians to commit and be charged with crimes. African American juveniles are held at twice the rate of Hispanics and five times the rate of Caucasians. The disparity could be explained through economic status of the families these juveniles come from or their family history. There are other factors that play into why children commit crimes, however these are the top two reasons, why juveniles will turn to crime.

Graffiti--Property Crime
Graffiti--Property Crime | Source

Juvenile Crimes

Different crimes have different offender types causing disparity within the system. Those offenders who commit violent crimes are not the same as those who commit property crimes or status offenses.

Knowing what types of juveniles commit what crimes can help with rehabilitation of those juveniles. Understanding what type of juvenile you are dealing with will help in providing programs to keep juveniles from partaking in these crimes in the first place.

Status Offenses: Are behaviors that are considered violations of the law because of age. When committed by a minor these violations are considered status offenses while remaining legal for the adult population. Violations include, but are not limited to truancy, running away, and under age drinking.

  • Girls are more often arrested for status offenses, especially runaways
  • Boys constitute the higher proportion for under age drinking
  • Most cases under status offenses go to family crisis units, county attorneys, and social service agencies. Juvenile courts try to stay away from these offenses as they are considered minor offenses.

Property Crimes: Include burglary, larceny, theft, and arson.

  • Over a quarter of juveniles arrested for property crimes where under the age of eighteen
  • Boys make up over sixty percent of those juveniles arrested
  • The rate of juveniles committing property crimes is down by half since 1985

Violent Crimes: Include murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault

  • Nearly a quarter of all violent crimes where committed by someone under the age of eighteen
  • Most violent crimes are committed between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. which is right around the time school is getting out
  • Boys represent over eighty percent of juvenile arrests for violent crime

Quiz on Juvenile Crime:

view quiz statistics

Juveniles in Adult Court

Nationwide, it is becoming easier and easier to try juveniles into adult criminal courts. With laws being passed lowering the minimum age in which a juvenile can be tried in adult court, the transfer of juveniles to adult courts is becoming more prevalent. Today, all fifty states allow for juvenile prosecution in criminal court. There are three ways in which a juvenile can be transferred to adult criminal court.

Judicial Waiver: This is the most popular method and is used by juvenile court judges to transfer juveniles to adult court in order to deny the protections of juvenile jurisdictions.

  • All states except New York, Nebraska, and New Mexico provide judicial waivers
  • Youngest a juvenile can be waived into adult court is 13-14

Statutory Exclusion: A juvenile accused of an excluded offense is treated as an adult from the beginning.

  • Twenty-eight states have statues that remove certain offenses for age/offense/prior records from juvenile court's jurisdiction. That means states can refuse anyone fitting into one of these categories from being defined as a "child" for juvenile court purposes.
  • Others only include the most serious offenses such as New Mexico, Mississippi, and Arizona.

Direct File: Gives discretion to the prosecutors as to where to file each case. Typically direct files give both juvenile and adult criminal courts the ability to hear cases involving certain offenses.

  • Wide variation among states regarding criteria; some emphasize offense categories, age of offender, and still others use past history of the juvenile.
  • Generally, the minimum level of offense seriousness is lower than those needed for statutory exclusions or mandatory waivers.

Factors that increase Juvenile Delinquency

Although juvenile arrest rates have declined in the last several decades there are still valuable aspects of the community, programs, and even protective factors that can decrease the likelihood of juvenile delinquency. In order to reduce the risks of juveniles turning to crime, it is important to understand and recognize the different risk factors and what can be done to prevent and eliminate these risks.

Individual Risk Factors:

  • Early aggressive behavior towards others and animals
  • Substance abuse
  • Association with antisocial or delinquent peers

Family and Community Risk Factors:

  • Childhood maltreatment
  • Parental criminality
  • Poverty

These are some of the top indicators that a juvenile is more prone to delinquent acts. Spotting these risk factors and providing intervention early on, can greatly help reduce the negative effects of these risk factors.

Which of the following if any risk factors have you or someone you know dealt with?

See results

Factors to Help Protect Children From Risk of Delinquency

These are just a few factors that can help prevent children from turning to delinquent acts even if they show risk factors for delinquency. These factors work because they provide youth with a positive role model, community, and family outlook.

  • Having good attachments to family, friends, and positive role models gives children a reason to do the right thing, so as not to disappoint those they are attached to.
  • When our youth are committed to positive activities they are more likely to protect their school and activities from other delinquents. Commitments to extra curricular activities, school, or even church give children a positive outlet for all their energy and allows them to do something constructive with their time.
  • Beliefs or values teach children in the way they should go. With positive role models and religious backgrounds children and young adults are better apt to react in a positive way to stress and hard to mange situations.
  • Children and teens involved in their community and their schools are more apt to protect it from other delinquents. Those who have put their own time, energy, and are committed to their involvements are not going to want to see those activities and programs disappear because of delinquent peers.

Big Brother Big Sister Outing
Big Brother Big Sister Outing | Source

Although juvenile crime is on the decline knowing the risk factors that lead to delinquency can help to continue this trend. Bringing troubled youth out of poverty stricken neighborhoods and into after school programs can greatly increase positive factors that will help fight against the negative risk factors that they live with everyday. Just because a child lives in a low socioeconomic neighborhood with violence, or comes from a poor family environment does not mean they should be forgotten. These children still have the opportunity to turn away from crime with the right preventative measures.

If you're interested in what you can do to help prevent delinquency check out my other article here.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image


        12 months ago

        I luv this article. it is really good

      • Shesabutterfly profile imageAUTHOR

        Cholee Clay 

        3 years ago from Wisconsin

        I am, but I am not comfortable using my own name. If you found this work on a different site it has been plagiarized.

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        whose the author of this article??

      • profile image


        5 years ago

        I'd Advise putting your name at top or bottom of each Hub, because inorder for anyone to cite you, we cannot use shesabutterfly as the author. Jus to let you know, I'm using some of your section "Factors that help protect juveniles from risk of delinquency" for a research paper about Juvenile Offenders & Recidivism.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, soapboxie.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)