A juvenile delinquent

A young person who has engaged in illegal behavior

A young person who has engaged in illegal behavior is considered a juvenile delinquent, typically between the ages of 9 and 18. The adage "once a criminal, always a criminal" is prevalent in America, but it is debatable and has been supported by the recurrent crimes that plague our society today. The entire society has been impacted by this worrying element. Many people wonder why youth commit crimes, and this topic keeps coming up.

Why is recidivism in prison still an issue even after juvenile correctional facilities have fulfilled their duty?

What ideas underlie this structure, and does it provide an explanation for this significant burden on society? The subsequent paragraphs seek to answer the questions posed above.

Theories on Juvenile Delinquency

Social Choice Theory

Social choice theory explains the behavioral turn out for the teenagers as influenced by the societal happenings. Poverty, school dropout, family breakdowns, among other challenges faced by this young generation tend to shape their personality in various ways. Conflicts, frustrations and despair mould them to become antisocial, draining their normal growth and pushing them to the extent that fitting in the society becomes a hurdle (Siegel and Welsh, 2012). The social choice theory holds on the following facts to explain criminality, (1) delinquency and criminality are caused by social factors, (2) institutions frameworks I the society are disorganized, (3) the disorganization leads to vulnerability by individuals who eventually engage in delinquent behavior, (4) the issue of disability in social arena mostly affects the lower class in the society (Sabatier & Weible, 2014). The young person then, in the midst of all these challenges ends up acting illegitimately engaging in criminal activities. When the young person is released from the juvenile prisons, they go back to the same old society whereby the social factors still remain constant. The probability of engaging in the old criminal activities is very high.

Policy Feedback Theory

Historically juvenile justice policy created punitive and rehabilitative measures on juvenile delinquents. This has not completely wiped out the problem of recurrence of criminal activities. Young members of the society serve in the juveniles and when they are released they engage in criminal offences which land them in prisons as adults. This theory brings with it the need to address policy issues, reforms, education sector and practical approaches to daily problems. Institutions have the mandate, power and influence the incarceration of criminal activities, (Sabatier & Weible, 2014).Analyses on the justice system and its efficiency raises questions on what, how, and why criminal activities are redundant.

Comparison of the theories and the most appropriate approach

The social choice theory is the most preferable theory in the focus of the issue at hand. Tackling the problem faced above starts from the basic foundation of an individuals. Focus on these issues means that crime can be eradicated or at least be significantly reduced. This is because the pressure to engage in criminal activities will be minimal (Sabatier & Weible, 2014). A normal growth coupled with acquisition of basic needs, health and happiness would make up a complete human being. The juvenile who get released would be formed in a way that they wouldn’t have to act violent and eventually avoiding going back to prisons. Therefore to cub this problem the use of this theory, social choice theory would be the most appropriate.

Policy feedback theory and social choice theory are interrelated. The intensity and severity of juvenile offences in the society is their focus. The social environment, educational attainments and socioeconomic factors determine the lives of these young people. The weakening of state institutions including corruption influences the bitterness and character of these people (Sabatier & Weible, 2014). Different people respond differently to different circumstances. Those who cannot handle the situations end up being rebellious and get stuck in deviant activities. It is upon the society and the political arena to solve this disturbing reality.


The causes of recidivism of incarceration can be prevented .Working together in the social, economic and political world would solve these problems. Broad outlook, research, ideologies and efficient structures should be put in place in order to eradicate this problem.



Sabatier, P. A., & Weible, C. M. (2014). Theories of the policy process (3rd Ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Siegel. E, Welsh. C (2012) "Lombroso's Theory of Crime." Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and 2.5 (1912): 716-723. JSTOR. Web. 23 Oct.

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