Juvenile Crime: Lackawanna County, PA

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Juvenile delinquency is a major concern to local police forces because of the fact that reducing juvenile crime recidivism and rehabilitating juvenile offenders is likely to reduce adult crime by lessening the number of repeat offenders within the system.

The Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office has a Juvenile Unit, comprised of six staff members, who handle solely Juvenile cases. All of these staff members take an active approach with the school districts to try to keep teens, parents, and teachers, well informed about, and well equipped to deal with the dangers that teens face that may put them in the way of delinquent behavior. In Lackawanna County specifically, the most common of the dangers are difficulties at home, at school, with friends, or the abuse of illegal substances. This is often correlational to the economic status of the juvenile and/or their family, as well as the family’s involvement with the child (Juvenile Unit np).

The Juvenile Unit in Lackawanna County handles between 600-700 cases per year. Charges include such crimes as “arson, rape, aggravated assault, theft, DUI, possession, and distribution of drugs, and vandalism.” These numbers sit about average with most of our nation (Crime Statistics np).

Lackawanna County overall appears to be handling the issue of Juvenile Delinquency relatively efficiently. In order to be even more efficient, they might consider helping to create more places for teens to socialize safely, outside the influence of drugs, alcohol, and negative peer influence as those things seem to create one of the largest issues in the area. They might also consider getting parents and teachers further involved in the effort.

References

Crime Statistics. (n.d.). Statistics. Retrieved February 8, 2014, from http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/statistics/5393/crime_statistitcs/494652

Juvenile Unit. (n.d.). Juvenile Unit. Retrieved February 8, 2014, from http://www.lackawannada.com/juvenileunit.html