Juvenile crime is reported to be more prevalent in southern states such as Florida and Louisiana; it is less prevalent in northeastern states such as New York and North Carolina. The State of Texas has its own unique system for charging and punishing crimes. Juvenile offenses can range anywhere from a Juvenile Class C misdemeanor to capital murder. We take a look at some important statistics to understand where Texas stands when dealing with juvenile legality.
Juvenile Crime: Most Prevalent During the Summer
Juvenile crime rates tend to spike during the summer in the State of Texas. The Juvenile crime rate in the summer has been found to be 11% higher than on spring, autumn, and winter. There has been some speculation surrounding the idea of increased crime rates during the summer months. Sociologists have studied that higher temperatures prompt children and teens to go outdoors more often, and with more available daylight hours it may lead to additional opportunities to commit crimes.
Motivation and Reasoning Contributing to Juvenile Delinquency
When researchers study the factors that cause teens and children to commit crimes, they take a close look at the institutions that may influence their decision-making and thought-processing. Below are some of the most influential factors that motivate Texas youth to commit crimes.
Poor Educational Standards
Overcrowded and underfunded schools tend to lack discipline and order. With Texas being one of the most populated states in the U.S., this is common, especially in the outskirts of major cities such as Houston and Dallas.
Violence In The Home
One of the largest contributing factors to delinquency is violence within the home environment. Oftentimes, when a child is subjected to violence, they will repeat violent behaviors. Children of dysfunctional homes are prone to lash out at others due to the prevalence of violence at home. Sociologists have found that teens subjected to violent actions are motivated by fears and frustrations.
Breaking it Up By Ethnographics
Any individual between the ages of 10 and 17 can be charged with a juvenile crime in Texas. There are specific groups of Texas children and teens that commit juvenile crime, including the following:
- African-American in Texas are five times more likely to be charged with juvenile crimes as opposed to Caucasians and twice as likely as Hispanics
- Female youth are more likely to be arrested for runaway than males
- Male youth are more likely to commit underage drinking than females
- Property crimes, such as graffiti and vandalism, make up approximately 25% of juvenile crimes
- Male youth commit 80% of violent juvenile crime
Where Texas Delinquency Currently Stands
Texas is credited with declining juvenile delinquency rates, but nevertheless, there is much more work to be done. On average, more than 50,000 juveniles are arrested in Texas or are referred to the juvenile probation system. Local county juvenile justice systems provide services for these youth, many of whom are diverted from further involvement with the juvenile justice system.
With the recent passage of juvenile justice reforms in Texas, the state has shown a significant drop in the juvenile incarceration rate. From 2007 to 2012, the number of juveniles detained in Texas state facilities dropped from approximately 4,300 to 1,500, resulting in a 66% decrease. The juvenile crime rate fell by a third, as reported by the Associated Press. Reforms that are responsible for moving juvenile delinquents from state facilities to community-based programs are credited with the decline in incarceration rates. Juveniles who were assigned to community programs as opposed to a facility were 20% less likely to be arrested again and three times less likely to commit serious crimes.
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The Rosales Law Firm is here to defend your child or teen, no matter the severity of their charge or criminal offense. Choosing an experienced and dedicated lawyer is in your best interest. Contact The Rosales Law Firm today to learn more about how we can help represent your child, day in and day out.