How Does Juvenile Crime Affect a Community?

By Jack Gerard

Community Image

A significant portion of juvenile crimes include destruction of property, vandalism and theft. These crimes harm the owners of the stores or property where they occur, as well as creating extra work for the people who have to clean, repair and restock after the crimes have been committed. These specific crimes can also make the areas where they occur look less pleasing (and in some cases less safe), leading to an erosion of morale because the citizens of the community are no longer able to take pride in where they live.

Community Safety

Juvenile crime can also make members of the community feel less safe in areas where they live or work. Community members may worry that young people involved in vandalism or destruction of property may try to fight with them if the community members interrupt them, while store owners might fear that they will be attacked by scared young people who are trying to steal. Juvenile crimes involving violence are also not unheard of, and community members living in areas with a high juvenile crime rate may worry that the amount of youth violence in the community will begin to rise.

Juvenile Crime and Adult Crime

Though juvenile offenders are arrested for crimes they commit, the majority of punishments they receive are not as severe as what would be given to an adult committing the same crimes. Young people who commit crimes occasionally follow the same patterns as adult criminals, slipping back into old habits after they are released from juvenile hall or other incarceration. This can lead to an increase in overall crime as youth offenders become adult offenders. Luckily, the increased punishments suffered by adults do act as a deterrent for at least some of these juveniles.

About the Author

Born in West Virginia, Jack Gerard now lives in Kentucky. A writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience, he has written both articles and poetry for publication in magazines and online. A former nationally ranked sport fencer, Gerard also spent several years as a fencing coach and trainer.