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Review chapter 8 in the course text, Juvenile delinquency. Focus on the psychological impact of family-related factors such as child maltreatment or parental rejection and think of how they might contribute to juvenile delinquency.

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The way in which juvenile delinquency is accounted for has overwhelming implications on how delinquents are addressed by the juvenile justice system. For instance, if you believe a juvenile crime is committed because of biological factors, such as genetics or early physical trauma, then the level of responsibility to which the juvenile is held would be less than if he or she freely chose to commit the crime. The same is true if you believe juvenile crime is due to psychological factors, such as personality disorders or the psychological impact of parental neglect or abuse. In this Discussion, you are asked to consider biological and psychological factors that might have contributed to an example of juvenile crime. You also are asked to think about how these factors might influence how the juvenile is addressed in the juvenile justice system. In doing so, it is important to consider how the court might rule on the case and the type of program (e.g., incarceration, probation, treatment-focused) the juvenile might be mandated to complete.

To prepare for this Discussion:

•Review the assigned reading from Chapter 3 of the course text, Juvenile Delinquency. Pay particular attention to the biological and psychological theories that account for juvenile delinquency.

•Review Chapter 8 in the course text, Juvenile Delinquency. Focus on the psychological impact of family-related factors such as child maltreatment or parental rejection and think of how they might contribute to juvenile delinquency.

•Review Chapter 9 in the course text, Juvenile Delinquency. Consider the psychological impact of school-related factors such as poor academic achievement and bullying, and think of how they might contribute to juvenile delinquency.

•Select a high-profile crime involving one or more juveniles as the perpetrator(s). This crime can be one from your community or one that you learned about in the news.

•Consider the known facts of the crime, including any background information about the juvenile(s) and his or her mental and criminal histories.

•Consider the information available about the family and school experiences of the juvenile(s) in the crime.

•Think about the biological and psychological factors that might have led the juvenile(s) to commit the crime you selected.

•Select one biological and one psychological factor that you think most contributed to the juvenile(s) committing the offense.

•Reflect on how the factors you identified might influence how the juvenile(s) is addressed by the juvenile justice system. In doing so, be sure to consider how the court might rule on the case and what type of program (e.g., incarceration, probation, treatment-focused) the juvenile might be required to complete.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief description of the crime you selected. Then explain at least one biological factor and one psychological factor that might have contributed to the juvenile(s) committing the offense. Finally, explain how these factors might influence how the juvenile(s) are addressed in the juvenile justice system. Be specific.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

Respond by Day 6 to at least one of your colleagues’ postings. Respond in one or more of the following ways:

•Ask a probing question.
•Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
•Offer and support an opinion.
•Validate an idea with your own experience.
•Make a suggestion.

•Expand on your colleague’s posting.


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