Juvenile Needs

Juvenile Needs

CJ420 Juvenile Justice

Purdue University Global

Juvenile Needs

The needs of a juvenile are rather different to those of an adult when considering course of action for delinquency. Minors have the ability to change their behavior and alter the course of their future. With proper guidance and given the tools they need to recover from delinquency, there is indeed hope for a better tomorrow. This is the goal for Jenna.

Jenna is a 14-year old girl who resides with her mother. Jenna has not seen her father since she was two years old. In school, Jenna has become absent and was referred to the juvenile court. Upon being interviewed, Jenna’s admitted to committing domestic violence against her mother, smoking marijuana daily and abusing alcohol. Jenna needs help and guidance to further divert her from this self-destructive path.

The first thing that needs to be addressed is the fact that Jenna was forced to grow up without her father. There are many negative psychological effects to children growing up without their father. Children are more likely to become aggressive, be depressed, do poorly in school and are more likely to use drugs when the father is absent. Allowing Jenna to express her feelings rather than acting them out would be a great start. By encouraging counseling and support groups, Jenna would be able to interpret her past and give her the perception of a brighter future (Kismet, 2014).

Next is the fact that Jenna is committing domestic violence against her mother. This is an offense and Jenna could be charged with a crime If Jenna is charged with a misdemeanor, she could serve jail time, be on probation, required to complete community service and is subject to fines. I think that the best possible outcome for Jenna with a domestic violence charge would be that she be sentenced to probation and required to complete community service. The probation is to allow a probation officer the ability to ensure that Jenna is receiving proper treatment and supervision. But also, to enforce the law that Jenna did commit a crime. She needs to be punished for this crime. For a number of reasons. One of them being that Jenna needs to understand that there are consequences for her actions while still being rehabilitated. In addition, if Jenna is on probation, a condition of her probation is to attend school.

Finally, Jenna’s drug abuse needs to be addressed. This is particularly concerning because though juvenile arrests were overall declining the arrests for drug-related crime trends are increasing. In addition, minor drug offending has been linked with a variety of negative outcomes. For example, engagement in other forms of delinquency are at a higher rate than non-drug offenders, there is a greater likelihood of recidivism if the minor is convicted and a much higher rate that offending will continue into adulthood. With this information, it is imperious that we treat drug offending juveniles while they are still underage and pliable to avoid the potential for future negative consequences (“Youth Drug Offenders: An Examination of Criminogenic Risk and Juvenile Recidivism,” 2016).

In conjunction with Jenna’s probation, she will be required to attend the Addiction Center. The Addiction Center has a location in Williamsburg. Pennsylvania. At the Addiction Center, there are a number of programs that are personalized to assist teens and their parents overcome drug addiction. Behavioral treatments would benefit Jenna immensely. This is because the drug abuse by Jenna could be due to an underlying disorder like depression or anxiety. In behavior treatments, Jenna would be able to learn valuable communication skills and have the ability to be open and honest. In addition, there is family-based therapy. This, too would benefit Jenna with the domestic violence she commits against her mother (“Teen Addiction Treatment,” 2015).

Recidivism is rather difficult to determine in juveniles. The reason being that the fact that all 50 states and Washington D.C have their systems for tracking recidivism because each state’s juvenile justice system differs in how it is organized. For the state of Pennsylvania, specifically, has one of the most effective mechanisms for accumulating juvenile delinquency data (Fowler, 2017). A report that was issued by the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission determined that among the juveniles who had closed cases in 2007, “one-in-five recidivated within two years (Swift, 2013).”

In conclusion, the best thing for Jenna to alter her negative path is to attend counseling to cope with the underlying issues caused by the lack of her father. Jenna needs to be sentenced to probation where she will be supervised and required to attend school. Also, she should be required to complete community service. Correspondingly, it is important for Jenna and her mother to attend/be involved with the Addiction Center. Here Jenna will find the help she so desperately needs to change her abuse towards her mother and get help for her addiction. Right now, it is marijuana. However, without help, it could become much, much worse.


Fine, A. D., Fountain, E., & Vidal, S. (2019). Juveniles’ beliefs about and perceptions of probation predict technical violations and delinquency. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 25(2), 116–125. https://doi.org/10.1037/law0000195

Fowler, J. (2017, December 13). Analyzing Juvenile Recidivism Rates by County in Pennsylvania. Retrieved from https://stoneleighfoundation.org/project/determining-effectiveness-of-the-courts-using-county-specific-recidivism-rates-of-juvenile-offenders/

Kismet, M. (2014, August 25). Psychological Effects of Growing Up Without a Father. Retrieved from https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/Psychological-Effects-On-Men-Growing-Up-Without-A-Father

Maier, J., & Sahin, O. (2009). Deliquency : Causes, Reduction and Prevention. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=374570&site=eds-live

Swift, J. (2013, May 22). Pennsylvania Finds 20 Percent of Juveniles Re-offend Within Two Years. Retrieved from https://jjie.org/2013/05/22/pennsylvania-finds-20-percent-of-juveniles-re-offend-within-two-years/

Teen Addiction Treatment. (2015, June 30). Retrieved from https://www.addictioncenter.com/teenage-drug-abuse/addiction-treatment/

Youth Drug Offenders: An Examination of Criminogenic Risk and JuvenileRecidivism. (2016, September 13). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5410661/