How Youth Are Defined
Criminal Justice System vs. Social Services Institutions
This project examines alternative measures to charging at-risk youth and the importance of transitional programs due to the ineffectiveness of punitive approaches. Punitive approaches are known for worsening issues with delinquent youth, such as recidivism. Youth are optimal to examine when tackling socioeconomic issues such as these because they are young enough that intervention can be done to set them on the right path. This intervention can prevent harms that would otherwise define them for the rest of their lives. There are shortcomings in the way society handles delinquent youth, and many are trapped in their criminal label. Because of this, they often continue to offend and ‘rebel’ against the system. Alternative measures to charging youth and transitional programs could make the difference in the way delinquent youth choose to move forward as adult members of society, potentially preventing criminal career formation.