What Age, If Any, Do You Gauge Is a "Good" Age to State a Juvenile Is Culpable for Their Actions, Particularly Delinquent/Criminal?
In Bremen, arrest, commonly a “ticket,” can not legally occur until age 14 and juvenile law can be and commonly is applied to those aged 18-20. In Denver, the age of responsibility is 10 and adult processing begins at age 18. Also, in Bremen, during ages 14-17, dismissal and diversion from court account for over 90% of cases referred to the prosecutor, often through a letter to the offender. In Denver, offenders may be ticketed or taken into custody. Arrested offenders are most often referred to juvenile court and receive intermediate level sanctions. Confinement is very rare in Bremen, but used in roughly 10-20% of Denver cases.
Prosocial behaviors include helping, sharing, and cooperation, while antisocial behaviors include different forms of oppositional and aggressive behavior. The development of empathy, guilt feelings, social cognition, and moral reasoning are generally considered important emotional and cognitive correlates of social development.A teenager who becomes pregnant is also more likely than older mothers to be poor, to be on welfare, to have curtailed her education, and to deliver a baby with low birthweight. Separately or together, these correlates of teenage parenthood have been found to increase risk for delinquency.
The very language used in juvenile court underscored these differences. Juveniles are not charged with crimes, but rather with delinquencies; they are not found guilty, but rather are adjudicated delinquent; they are not sent to prison, but to training school or reformatory.
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Meyer, Jessica R., and N. Dickon Reppucci. 2007. “Police Practices and Perceptions Regarding Juvenile Interrogation and Interrogative Suggestibility.” Behavioral Sciences & the Law 25:757–80.
Lundman, Richard J., Richard E. Sykes, and John P. Clark. 1978. “Police Control of Juveniles: A Replication.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 15(1):74–91.
Mastrofski, Stephen D. 2004. “Controlling Street-level Police Discretion.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 593(1):100–18.