Juvenile delinquents

This newest phenomenon in the world of crime is perhaps the most dangerous challenge
facing society and law enforcement ever. They are younger, more brutal, and completely
unafraid of the law. Violent teenage criminals are increasingly vicious. Young people, often
from broken homes or so-called dysfunctional families, who commit murder, rape, robbery,
kidnapping, and other violent acts. These emotionally damaged young people, often are the
products of sexual or physical abuse. They live in an aimless and violent present and have no
sense of the past and no hope for the future. These young criminals commit unspeakably brutal
crimes against other people, often to gratify whatever urges or desires drive them at the moment
and their utter lack of remorse is shocking (Worsham 1997).

Studies reveal that the major cause of violent crime is not poverty but family breakdown;
specifically, the absence of a father in the household. Today, one-fourth of all the children in the
United States are living in fatherless homes which adds up to 19 million children without fathers.

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Compared to children in two parent family homes, these children will be twice as likely to drop
out of school, twice as likely to have children out of wedlock, and they stand more than three
times the chance of ending up in poverty, and almost ten times more likely to commit violent
crime and ending up in jail (Easton 1995). The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank,
reported that the rise in violent crime over the past 30 years runs directly parallel to the rise in
fatherless families. In every state in our country, according to the Heritage foundation, the rate
for juvenile crime is closely linked to the percentage of children raised in single-parent families.

While it has long been thought that poverty is the primary cause of crime, the facts simply do not
support this view. Teenage criminal behavior has its roots in habitual deprivation of parental
love and affection going back to early infancy, according to the Heritage Foundation. A father’s
attention to his son has enormous positive effects on a boy’s emotional and social development.
But a boy abandoned by his father is deprived of a deep sense of personal security. In a
well-functioning family the very presence of the father embodies authority and this paternal
authority is critical to the prevention of psychopathology and delinquency . “The overwhelming
common factor that can be isolated in determining whether young people will be criminal in their
behavior is moral poverty,” Parker says (Parker 1996).
Psychologists can predict by the age of 6 who’ll be the super-predators. According to
experts, child abuse and parents addicted to alcohol ruins these childrens lives. Each generation
of crime-prone boys has been about three times as dangerous as the one before it. Psychologists
believe the downhill slide into utter moral bankruptcy is about to speed up because each
generation of youth criminals is growing up in more extreme conditions of “moral poverty” than
the one before it. Moral poverty is defined as “growing up surrounded by deviant, delinquent, and
criminal adults in abusive, violence-ridden, fatherless, godless, and jobless settings.

The “super-predator” is a breed of criminal so dangerous that even the older inmates
working their way through life sentences complain that their youthful counterparts are out of
control. Super predators are raised in homes void of loving, capable, responsible adults who
teach you right from wrong. It is the poverty of being without parents, guardians, relatives,
friends, teachers, coaches, clergy and others who habituate you to feel joy at others’ joy, pain at
others’ pain, happiness when you do right, remorse when you do wrong. It is the poverty of
growing up in the virtual absence of people who teach these lessons by their own everyday
example, and who insist that you follow suit and behave accordingly (Zoglin 1996).The need
to rebuild and resurrect the civil society (families, churches, community groups) of high-crime,
drug-plagued urban neighborhoods is not an intellectual or research hypothesis that requires
testing. It’s a moral and social imperative that requires doing – and doing now (Duin 1996).
A super predator is actually a young psychopath or psychotic, almost completely without
ambition, and are often of below average intelligence. They do not recognize, intellectually or
otherwise, any rules of society. While psychopaths and the super-predator both share the inability
to feel emotion, the psychopath can feign it to achieve a result.The super predator seems
completely incapable of even that. More interestingly, the super predator is remarkably candid.

They will more often than not admit not only to their crimes, but also as to the why. They feel as
if nothing wrong was done and would do it again if placed in the same situation.

When asked what was triggering the explosion of violence among today’s young street
criminals, a group of life-term New Jersey prisoners did not voice the conventional explanations
such as economic poverty or joblessness. Instead, these hardened men cited the absence of people
– family, adults, teachers, preachers, coaches who would care enough about young males to
nurture and discipline them (Zoglin 1996). Even more shocking than the sheer volume of violent
juvenile crime is the brutality of the crime committed for trivial motives: a pair of sneakers, a
jacket, a real or imagined insult, and a momentary cheap thrill. For example: a 59-year-old man
out on a morning stroll in Lake Tahoe was fatally shot four times by teenagers “looking for
someone to scare.” The police say the four teenagers, just 15 and 16 years old, were “thrill
shooting.” Another example can be the case of a 12-year-old and two other youths were charged
with kidnapping a 57-year-old man and taking a joy ride in his Toyota. As the man pleaded for
his life, the juveniles shot him to death (Duin 1996).
1. Duin, Julia Alarm over crime puts focus on our nation’s moral crisis., The Washington
2. Easton, Nina J The Crime Doctor Is In; But Not Everyone Likes Professor. JohnDiIulio’s
Message, There Is No Big Fix; Home Edition., Los Angeles Times,
3. Parker, Shafer, Violence With a Youthful Face.., Vol. 23, Alberta Report /Western Report,
4. Richard Zoglin Reported By Sam Allis/Boston And Ratu Kamlani, New York, Crime:
Now For the Bad News: A Teenage Time Bomb , TIME, 01-15-1996, pp 52+.
5. Worsham, James-Blakely, Stephen-al, et, Crime and Drugs., Vol. 85, Nation’s Business,
Bibliography:
Deloach 4
‘Works Cited
1. Duin, Julia Alarm over crime puts focus on our nation’s moral crisis., The Washington
Times, 11-17-1996, pp 31.
2. Easton, Nina J The Crime Doctor Is In; But Not Everyone Likes Professor. JohnDiIulio’s
Message, There Is No Big Fix; Home Edition., Los Angeles Times,
05-02-1995, pp E-1.
3. Parker, Shafer, Violence With a Youthful Face.., Vol. 23, Alberta Report /Western Report,
06-17-1996, pp 27.
4. Richard Zoglin Reported By Sam Allis/Boston And Ratu Kamlani, New York, Crime:
Now For the Bad News: A Teenage Time Bomb , TIME, 01-15-1996, pp 52+.
5. Worsham, James-Blakely, Stephen-al, et, Crime and Drugs., Vol. 85, Nation’s Business,
02-01-1997, pp 24.

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