Chapter 14 Delinquency Prevention 1 Control and Management of Delinquency (1 of 2) Historically, there have been shifting attitudes on how to

Chapter 14

Delinquency Prevention


Control and Management of Delinquency (1 of 2)

Historically, there have been shifting attitudes on how to approach dealing with delinquency.

In the 19th century, children went from being viewed as bad seeds to youth who needed to be saved.

Serving the needs of children became associated with controlling disobedient behavior.


Control and Management of Delinquency (2 of 2)

With parens patriae, the state became the ultimate guardian of all children.

The transformation of the mid-1960s and early 1970s resulted in a juvenile justice system organized around identification, interrogation, and adjudication of criminal offenders.

Criminologists today distinguish between preventing and managing delinquency.


Prevention of Delinquency

Emerged in the 1980s.

Similar to the public health model which emphasized preventing a disease before it occurs by reducing the risk and increasing resiliency within the population.

For delinquency, this approach means recognizing social conditions and personal conditions that are either a risk factor or protective factor.


Risk versus Protective Factors

Risk Factors are conditions which statistically increase the likelihood of delinquency.

Protective Factors statistically reduce the likelihood of delinquency.


Primary Prevention

Targets the child at the earliest possible point to prevent delinquency.

Programs are aimed at fetal development, toddlers, and early childhood.


Deficiencies or problems in the development at the fetal stage can put the child at risk for delinquency later in his or her life.

© Simon Pedersen/Getty.


Secondary Prevention

Prevention efforts aimed at youth who have already been identified as being at risk of becoming delinquent or chronic offenders.

Early identification problems brought to the attention of parents, school officials, and juvenile service agencies are targeted for treatment.


Tertiary Prevention

Targets existing delinquents, with the goal of reducing recidivism through therapeutic treatments or incapacitation against further delinquency.

Largely a responsibility of the justice system.


For many juveniles, initial contact with the juvenile justice system is sufficient to turn them away from more serious criminal behavior.

© Trista Weibell/E+/Getty.


Early Childhood Development

Criminologists began to realize that a limitation to explaining delinquency is that past theories only look at a specific point in time.

Developmental theories argue for the need to examine early childhood experiences.

A series of early risk factors have been found to increase the likelihood of delinquency in later life.


Risk Factors in Early Childhood


Child Health and Wellness

Both an embryo and fetus are affected by a mother’s nutritional habits, substance abuse, smoking, and lead in the home.

Exposure to drugs or alcohol may result in neuropsychological defects.

Extensive health problems can be a result of poor prenatal and postnatal care.

All increased the likelihood of problem behavior, conduct disorders, and delinquency.


Maternal Factors

Young mothers and unwed mothers are likely to experience depression and lack of resources for postnatal checkups.

Mothers are primary emotional nurturers for children.

Strong, interactive contact between baby and mother is needed for healthy development.


Family Factors

Families are the source of greatest risk factors for young children.

Stressed and dysfunctional parents are more likely to deliver abusive or harsh parenting, which increases parent-child conflicts.

Parents who are antisocial may be problematic role models to their children.

Children of incarcerated parents may experience stress that compounds the risk for delinquency.


Childhood and Adolescence Risk Factors

Just as the risk factors for health and wellness are associated with an increased likelihood of future delinquency, so are risks facing children once they enter childhood and venture into their neighborhoods and schools.



For some children the learning environment is interrupted with bullies, gangs, fights, and constant attacks on other students, staff, and teachers.

Detrimental school environments exacerbate the problem of delinquency.



Peers groups are composed of youths with similar ages and interests.

A youth’s best friend can have a great influence over his or her behavior.

A child is twice as likely to be delinquent if his or her best friend is delinquent.

If parental supervision is weak peers become more influential.



Gangs present a number of risk factors for adolescents.

Youths in gangs are less likely to finish high school, to use drugs, commit crimes, be arrested by the police, and be processed by the juvenile court.

Gang involvement increases risk of being victimized.

Gangs heavily recruit for new members at school.


Neighborhood and Poverty

Children in impoverished neighborhoods are more likely to experience lower quality child care, to attend poorly funded schools, and have fewer successful adult role models.


Promising Prevention Programs

A variety of programs have been found to be effective when it comes to targeting risk factors for antisocial behavior in youth.

These programs vary from prenatal care to adolescent prevention and intervention.


Nursing-Family Partnership (1 of 3)

Best known prevention study in demonstrating the long term effects of early interventions on a high-risk sample.

Used a sample of 400 pregnant women with various risk factors for having children who will engage in delinquency.


Any number of risk factors for delinquency can be reduced when nurses are able to visit expectant mothers in their homes.

© Dmitry Melnikov/Shutterstock.


Nursing-Family Partnership (3 of 3)

The experimental group received nine home visits during pregnancy and 23 home visits until the child’s third birthday. The control group received standard prenatal care.

The experimental group had lower incidence of running away, arrests, convictions, smoking, alcoholism, and fewer lifetime sexual partners.


Elmira Prenatal/Early Infancy Project

Based on a premise that most serious high-risk factors of delinquency stem from poor prenatal care and dysfunctional care giving.

Nursing visits to improve infant and child health both during pregnancy and after the child was born.

Improvements found in care of both mothers and children.


Syracuse University Family Development Project

Goal to improve children’s cognitive and emotional functioning while reducing delinquency.

This was done through home visits until child was five years old.

Children not in program were 10 times more likely to have committed a crime.


Parents as Teachers

Involves home visits by trained parent educators.

Educators train parents on childhood development, activities, and strong parent-child relationships.

Overall, program improves school readiness and parenting practices.


Yale Child Welfare Research Program

Pregnancy, prenatal home visits and pediatric services to poverty-level mothers.

Children missed fewer days of school, were less negative, less aggressive and socially well adjusted.


Early Head Start

Designed to promote healthy prenatal outcomes and family functioning.

Treatment group scored higher in cognitive and language development, were less aggressive, and displayed more advanced social-emotional development.


Early Childhood and Preschool Programs

Programs targeting children before they are old enough to enter school.

Most target children under the age of five.

Many encourage direct parent involvement in skill development.


Chicago Child-Parent Center Preschool Program

Educational and family support to economically disadvantaged and at-risk youth from preschool to third grade.

Participants demonstrate a reduction in special education placement, arrest rates, child maltreatment, and an increase in high school graduation rates.


High/Scope Perry Preschool

Program derived from Jean Piaget’s theory that children are active learners.

Incorporates preschool activities with home visits to work with parents on supporting their child’s activities.

Reports significant lifetime crime prevention effects.

Children who did not participate in the program were twice as likely to be arrested for violent crimes.


Head Start

Studies report mixed findings, majority with positive effects.

Head Start children are more likely to complete high school and attend college than non-Head Start children.

A school readiness program for low-income children.


School and Family Programs

These programs are focused on both school and the family as important social contexts for child development.


The Incredible Years Program

Prevention program that targets infants, toddlers, and their families.

Offers treatments to antisocial children and parents, other family members, and teachers.

Provides comprehensive treatments to children between the ages of two and eight.

Participants indicate a 60% reduction of aggression and conduct problems and increased academic competence.


Seattle Development Project

Implemented in 1981 throughout 18 Seattle elementary schools.

Offered parent management training, social competence training, and academic skills to increase children’s attachment to school and family.

Participation in program had significant positive impact.

Males exhibited less antisocial behaviors while females were less self-destructive than the control group.


Other Notable Programs

Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)

Midwestern Prevention Project

Nursing Parents Program

Functional Family Therapy

Olweus Bullying Prevention Program

I Can Problem Solve (ICPS)

Guiding Good Choices (GGC)


Neighborhood and Community Programs (1 of 3)

Community programs are designed to help children avoid delinquent behavior.

Project Star/Midwestern Prevention Strategies

Program that focuses on adolescent drug use prevention.

Students who participate were less likely to use drugs and alcohol.


Neighborhood and Community Programs (2 of 3)

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America

Mentoring of youth between the ages of 6 to 18 from single-parent homes.

While the program has never been formally evaluated, the outcome appears promising.


Neighborhood and Community Programs (3 of 3)

Striving Together to Achieve Rewarding Tomorrows

Reducing delinquency by minimizing exposure to drugs and criminal activity.

Tries to alleviate individual, neighborhood and community risk factors.

Utilizes active school programs and increased police involvement.

Children reported less frequent drug use from one month to over the course of their lifetime.


Do Delinquency Programs Work?

Each program described has been effective for some children, in some settings, with various levels of risk.

David Wilson notes that school-based prevention programs appear modestly effective in reducing non-attendance, the likelihood of dropping out of school, and alcohol and drug use.

Many school-based programs however, do not work.


Community and Justice System Programs

Several community-based programs have been ineffective as well.

Scared Straight

Juvenile Justice System Programs tend to be tertiary in nature.

Milieu treatment programs and behavioral token programs indicate some positive effects.

Social casework fails to indicate positive results on reducing recidivism.


Criminologists’ Findings

Primary proactive approaches and early intervention need an increased focus.

Prevention programs that target the prenatal stage, infancy, and preschool while managed by local government, community groups, local schools, and individual citizens will likely be the most effective at reducing risk factors associated with delinquency.



The goals of the juvenile justice system are twofold.

Controlling and managing delinquency.

Dealing with juveniles who are already delinquent.

There are a number of prevention programs that vary by targeting different ages of youth from prenatal care to adolescent prevention.

Criminologists argue that more primary prevention programs are needed.








Share This Post


Order a Similar Paper and get 15% Discount on your First Order

Related Questions

LEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES RELATED TO PSYCHIATRIC EMERGENCIES The diagnosis of psychiatric emergencies can include a wide range of problems—from serious drug

LEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES RELATED TO PSYCHIATRIC EMERGENCIES The diagnosis of psychiatric emergencies can include a wide range of problems—from serious drug reactions to abuse and suicidal ideation/behaviors. Regardless of care setting, the PMHNP must know how to address emergencies, coordinate care with other members of the health care team

Assessment Description By analyzing the history of education and learning about fundamental changes in U.S. educational systems, educators will better

Assessment Description By analyzing the history of education and learning about fundamental changes in U.S. educational systems, educators will better understand the current state of education and be able to hypothesize and implement positive change. Throughout this program of study, you will be asked to support assignments with relevant scholarly

Create an outline for your comprehensive assessment of how your selected cultural group’s beliefs and practices might impact healthcare decision-making,

Create an outline for your comprehensive assessment of how your selected cultural group’s beliefs and practices might impact healthcare decision-making, treatment adherence, your communication, your interventions, and your education to align with the patient’s cultural values and preferences.  Submission Instructions: Download, rename, edit, and submit the outline template above. Complete