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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Juvenile Delinquency And The Role of Drug Use

Does drug use cause minors to engage in criminal activity? There are many factors and theories to take into consideration when determining the correlation between juvenile delinquents and drug use. It is important to understand the roots of these issues, as well as learning the best way to prevent this problem originally, and to understand the best types of rehabilitation for delinquents. If you ever met or heard of someone that engages in criminal activity or drug use, you might understand that there is some sort of relationship between the two offenses. With research and studies, criminologists have explored their affiliation with one another.


Juvenile's Commit Crimes to Escape Reality 


 To understand juvenile delinquency, we first need to get a basic overview with why young people turn to crime to begin with. Many teens turn to other outlets for coping with stress, curiosity, peer pressure, to rebel, or even just pleasure. According to a website called, "Drug and Alcohol Rehab" , a drug user has little social support, so they turn to drugs to replace the important relationships that they are missing. We also need to take into consideration other aspects of ones life, such as mental health, family life, socioeconomic factors, race and family life.
 

 Juvenile Delinquency and Drug Use have a Mutual Relationship

Graph showing the rates of types of drugs used by minors.
Source: University of Michigan

According to an article, “Most Juvenile Offenders Use Drugs and Alcohol” by CASA News Release, four out of five juvenile delinquents are abusing alcohol and drugs while committing their crimes. Therefore, it is clear that there is some sort of relationship. The affiliation between crime and drug use doesn’t have one exact explanation, but there are some factors that allow them to benefit from one another. 

Drug use and delinquency are correlated because some types of crime, such as theft or robbery, are too finance their substance abuse problems. Lets also take into consideration that drug use is a crime itself, so obviously a drug user’s morals and values don’t reflect a good person. Put that with a developing juvenile brain, and you can understand more about the causes of juvenile delinquency. 

Laura Dykstra works as a Faculty Research Associate for the Center on Young Health and Development at The University of Maryland. Laura believes that there is certainly a relationship between juvenile delinquency and drug abuse, but believes there are many reasons why these two are affiliated with each other. 


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Laura explains that there isn’t exactly a casual relationship, but that drug use and delinquency might be caused by low self-control in an individual. The Low Self Control Theory, which is a general theory of crime, states that when people have low self-control don’t stop themselves from engaging in crime and act on impulse, which is something that they learn at a very young age.


Prevention and Rehabilitation benefits the Individual and their Family


According to Student Pulse, the best way to stop juvenile delinquency is early intervention with a child. Once a person engages in criminal activity, they already have a developed mindset about crime. So, the best prevention is too take action before crime is even an option for a child. Some early prevention techniques will include school programs and quality family life. If an individual feels as if they have social support, it will alleviate the feeling that they need to turn to crime. The best prevention programs will concentrate not only on the individual, but also their home life. Their parents will also be a part of the programs so they know how to deal with their children if they start showing risky behaviors. 


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Laura also believes that early intervention is the best way to prevent juvenile delinquency. However, when a child already has engaged in criminal activity there must be strong rehabilitation programs to help the young adult reestablish a new life.

Rehabilitation is extremely crucial to a juvenile delinquent so they can reform their life before it is too late. According to Kelie Darbouze, who has done research in this field at The University of Maryland, group therapy, group housing and family therapy are all effective ways to help a troubled juvenile.

Group therapy is effective because it allows a group of troubled individuals to talk among one another, with the therapist monitoring and only intervening at particular points. The group of individuals share common characteristics and are able to relate on certain experiences and issues in their lives, allowing them to open up more. 

Group Housing is also another effective strategy in the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents. Sometimes when an individual returns home after committing crime, the same setting may tempt them to become a repeated offender. However, when they go to a different house setting in a safe, but strict environment with new people (who are going through the same thing) it helps them transition better into society. 
Family Therapy
Photo Credit: ifood.com

Lastly, family therapy gives the family a chance to create strong social bonds, that might have been misplaced before hand. Social bonds with family are extremely important, so they know that they are being supported by their loved ones.








Crime is unavoidable, we actually need it to be a functioning society. Crime and drug use not only affects the people surrounding the criminal, but also the criminal, themselves. There is no exact solution to crime or to one hundred percent prevent juvenile’s to engage in crime, but with the proper techniques we can eliminate some crime, or at least reduce the severity of crimes committed. After reading about the topic, what is your opinion of the relationship between juvenile delinquency and drug use, from a public eye point of view? Listen to my dad's opinion.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Relationship between Juvenile Delinquency and Drug Use



Why did I choose Juvenile Delinquency?


For my final project, I have chosen the topic of Juvenile Delinquency, in relation to drug use. I chose this topic because I am interested to understand whether drug use causes juvenile delinquency, juvenile delinquency causes drug use, or if there is some other unknown factor that primarily causes juvenile delinquency. Another reason I am interested in this topic is because typically when we here of a delinquent they tend to also be involved in drug use of some kind. Normally you don’t hear of extremely functional and successful people (such as business men) involved in such criminal activity or drug use. With this being said, I also want to explore the causes of juvenile delinquency and what we can do to try to withstand our youth from these pressures of drug use and criminal activity.

 What do I think about the Relation between Drug Use and Juvenile Delinquency?


Personally, I believe that there is defiantly a correspondence between drug use and criminal activity in minors.  More specifically, I believe that drug use leads to juvenile delinquency. My reasoning for this is because when an individual starts experimenting with drugs, it can become very costly. When they spend a good amount of money, and they are addicted to drugs, drugs still are their first priority to an addict. With this being said, bills, food, health, etc. all falls behind, and drugs are the main concern. When they get to the point where they need to pay for other things, they loose out of money that could potentially go to drugs. Therefore, they turn to criminal activity such as stealing, to get possessions or money that they need to get their drugs. I think the best way to prevent drug use and criminal activity in minors is a stable family life and a healthy environment to grow up in. This always children to know that they have their family to depend on, and do not need to turn to drugs or crime. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Advances in Technology are Affecting How We Learn

My interviewee believes an Ipad has it's benefits. 


My second interviewee believes that there are many benefits to incorporating technology in the classroom.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is there a Digital Divide or Participation Gap?




With advancing technology and interfaces, it is clear that there is a “digital divide” and a “participation gap”. As Kevin Guidry stated in his article, “Digital Divide or Participation Gap? Will Mobile Affect it?” it is almost like the “haves vs. the have-nots”. A digital divide is most defiantly here because there are disparities between different ethnicities. These individuals who are less privileged, such as Hispanics or Blacks, are less likely to have internet access at home, creating this digital divide. A participation gap is also an ongoing issue because there is an unequal opportunity for some students to engage in these new technologies and interfaces when they do not have the finances to purchase them. Although they still have the public library to go to when in need of a device, it still is a different relationship then owning a device personally.



Another factor to consider that contributes to the “digital divide” and the “participatory gap” is an individual’s access to cell phones and it what ways they are used and protected. In an article, “Privacy and Data Management on Mobile Devices” by Jan Boyles, Aaron Smith and Mary Madden draw attention to what type of people are protecting their privacy and who isn’t. According to their studies, although minorities are less likely to have smartphones, they are also more likely to loose or have their phone stolen. Forty four percent of African Americans cell phones have been lost or stolen, compared to that 28% of whites. I believe this plays a part in the digital divide and participatory gap because it is obvious that the usage of smartphones is correlated to ethnicity and race. Even people that have the same type of technology also have each had different experiences with each interface. Some people may prefer an iPad over a laptop, and vice versa. Therefore the participatory gap has helped us define the use of unequal access to different devices, which results in different ways we use the internet.
Within the next three to five years, I believe this digital divide and participatory gap will only increase because there will always be a chance of unequal access for people. Individuals who have their own personal use of technology use it differently then those who have to use a public interface. There will always be people who will be able to afford the newest technological devices, but there will also people who won’t be able to afford a smart phone. However, it is important in this day and age to understand the use of these different devices because they are so crucial in our culture. I see how colleges are trying to help this because just like in our class, we are given the chance to take an iPad home with us for the remainder of the semester. I think that this will help eliminate a digital divide or participatory gap. Historical, cultural and financial factors all play in a part of the relationship to technology, which help us understand these two concepts of the digital divide and participatory gap.