Punishing Children and Young Offenders

Lack of material, social and psychological support at the time of release, make it difficult for juvenile offenders to break the cycle of re-arrest and release. Extended and short-terms in a correctional facility provide a limited chance for interventions and treatment to avert future recidivism. Community safety makes it crucial that communities, as well as governments, must develop effective interventions, which rehabilitate juveniles successfully. It is critical to developing interventions designed to achieve suitable rehabilitation for young offenders and that lower rates of re-offending.

Theories of Juvenile Offending
The social control theory highlights that a strong attachment of young persons to their families helps in controlling and discouraging offending cases among them. Failed family attachment coupled with parental abuse increases the vulnerability of the young individuals to offending (Rees-Jones et al., 2012). Second, social learning theory stresses that the delinquency among juveniles occurs through a learned phenomenon that encompasses imitation, modeling as well as reinforcement. Therefore, the juveniles learn and adopt the behavior patterns that their abusers display. In addition, the theory points out that the incidence of reoffending can escalate especially if the rehabilitation system does not sufficiently deal with the underlying causes of such juvenile offenses. The social-psychological strain theory highlights that negative treatment generates backward emotions including frustration, anger, and resentment. Therefore, juveniles are likely to offend especially if they had negative treatment in the past.

Challenges Confronting Juvenile Delinquents
Juvenile delinquents confined in rehabilitation centers are faced with a number of personal, economic and social challenges, which tend to become obstacles to a lifestyle that is free from crime. Most of the challenges are consequences of experiences that the offender had, whereas some have a connection to the result of incarceration and difficulty in making the transition back to the community (Cheesman II and Waters, 2010). A suitable rehabilitation system must evaluate the history of juvenile offenders, which is necessary to assist them from re-offending. Some juvenile delinquents may have a history of marginalization and social isolation, and abuses that are either emotional or physical. Other young offenders may have a physical challenge or mental disabilities as well as certain health issues linked to drug addiction and substance abuse (Cin-Ying Yip et al., 2013). In addition, societal changes including competition within the rehabilitation facilities may render such rehabilitation unsuitable if in case the juvenile offenders face challenges of skills deficits.

A suitable rehabilitation system must equip young offenders with the vital skills that enable them to interact effectively with other individuals upon reintegration into society. Juvenile delinquents may lack these vital skills in unsuitable rehabilitation.