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Almost 60,000 youth under age 18 are incarcerated in juvenile jails in the United States. The number is surely astounding, and begs the question– what are the main factors leading to such crimes?  

Every child is a product of their home and the society they live in. It is essential to understand why a minor commits a crime to prevent future crimes from happening. Addressing the issues that led children to fall for the crime can help them change their actions in the future.

Here we talk about the reasons for juvenile crimes to understand juvenile delinquency better. 

Violence At Home

One of the most widespread and leading reasons for juvenile crime is violence at home. A home is where the child learns what kind of a person to grow into. If violence is all they have encountered, they turn into violent people themselves. In many cases, the child has no idea why they experience the violence and how to protect themselves from it. This may result in petty criminal activities that include shoplifting or violating traffic laws. Others may cause greater harm and commit bigger crimes that reflect their rage within. 

Children may lash out at others around them for what they experience at home. These delinquents are more likely to possess an “I don’t care” attitude. 

Note: There is a difference between abuse and violence. Abuse can be of many types, such as mental, physical, emotional, and often leads to juvenile delinquency.

Lack Of Moral Guidance and Supervision 

A consistent absence of a guardian or a parent is another leading factor for why juvenile crimes are on the rise. Most juvenile crimes cases have parents who themselves have many issues which cause them to neglect their child. Nurturing takes place at home, where the child is taught the difference between right and wrong. If the role model is not in the picture, the child will most likely turn to wrong decisions. 

Moreover, the media also play a significant part in increasing juvenile crimes. Lack of supervision leads to the exposure of all sorts of content on television, making the child want to model it. Since the ability to tell wrong from right isn’t present, they go for what is exciting without foreseeing the consequences.

Poor Educational Quality

A good school pays more attention to its youth and practices healthy discipline. Most underfunded and overpopulated schools lack the kind of regulation needed. The child feels the need to protect themselves in such surroundings that lack law and order by taking it in their hands. 

Furthermore, the involvement of teachers and parents in the child’s school performance is another determining factor for how the child chooses to view education. The constant checks develop a sense of accountability within the child as they know they will be asked about their work and progress.

Poor School Performance

A child’s poor performance at school, be it attendance or grades, is a huge reason for juvenile crimes. The responsibility for this is on the guardian. Going to school is more than just gaining knowledge. Going to school promotes a healthy lifestyle for a child, from waking up, getting dressed, taking the bus to school, studying, and heading home. 

These routines help with establishing healthy habits and discipline. Not going to school regularly results in having more free time at hand to indulge in harmful activities. If the child grows up defying basic rules such as attending school on a regular basis, they grow older to have no respect for other societal regulations. 

Additionally, learning abilities within a child also contribute. Those who struggle to meet academic requirements at school feel left out. If the child is motivated even for their low grades and weak performance, they most likely won’t look elsewhere to feel good and appreciated. Bullying can be a huge contributor in itself, leading to feelings of ostracism and resorting to criminal activities. 

Substance Abuse

Being on substances at home or getting it from the environment is why some children cannot function as normal members of society. Exposure to such substances leads to dependence over time and finding unnatural ways of satisfying that craving. Most times, these individuals end up committing crimes that they wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. In such cases, children require counseling services to help them regain their sense of worth and self-esteem.  

Peer Pressure

Social circles matter most after a child’s home environment. If parents are too controlling, the child might resort to the wrong company to feel better by breaking the rules. Similarly, if parents are absent and the child cannot tell wrong from right, they choose to go with a circle to feel in control and protected. 

In wanting to be a part of the group they opt for, the child might have to adapt to the activities of that group, be it drugs or crime.  

Socioeconomic Factors

While crime exists in all neighborhoods, there are more cases of delinquent activities in poorer areas. The children residing in these areas commit crimes like stealing or getting involved in bloody fights only because they feel they must do so to survive. If children in such areas are provided with the right kind of schooling and the basic necessities to live, they might not resort to committing crimes to get through. 

Their Lives Just Started, Fight For Their Rights

Children must be protected from all kinds of crimes. Many firms across the country are fighting for the rights of these delinquents. If you are a guardian or a parent searching for a legal representative for your child, consider contacting expert attorneys at Nicewicz that specialize in juvenile crimes today.

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Law
  • Traffic Violations
  • Reckless Driving
  • Felonies and Misdemeanors

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia, 1985
  • District of Columbia, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia, 1985
  • U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, 1987
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 1985
  • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims


  • University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia
    • J.D. - 1985
  • Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    • B.A. magna cum laude - 1982
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
    • Major: Economics & Philosophy
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