Youth violence is a very real threat across the nation and each US city and town will experience cases of this type of violence. Violent juvenile crimes are defined as violent crimes being carried out by children, adolescents, teens, and young adults, and many different types of crimes are in this category. Bullying, sports fighting and school fights are among the more commonly seen forms of youth violence. These frowned upon activities can, unfortunately, be coming of age events for some juveniles across the nation, and many occur while drinking, on drugs or at a party.
Youth violence in the state of Massachusetts, more specifically Boston, Worcester, and Springfield, has been prevalent due the influx of recent gang activity that has begun to contribute to young people committing violent acts.
Causes Of Youth Violence
Youth violence can be caused by a variety of factors ranging from problems at home to a young person getting involved with the wrong crowd.
Drug and alcohol abuse in young people may also contribute to youth violence, and studies have shown that teenagers who partake in using illicit drugs are twice as likely to engage in violence as teenagers who do not.
Another large contributing factor is exposure to violence in children, as children who are exposed to violent behaviors while growing up are more likely to commit acts of violence once they reach adolescence. This exposure is often seen to create a vicious cycle wherein children see violence, think the behavior is acceptable, and commit violent acts themselves, only to have their own children one day witness these acts and engage in the same behaviors.
Youth Violence And The Law
Youth violence cases will often result in penalties being given to the parties participating in the violent acts, and these penalties will range in severity along with the act itself. For parents of violent children, adolescents, or teenagers, it is important that they seek the aid of a qualified lawyer, who will protect their minor’s rights and to represent them in juvenile court.
For victims of youth violence, these cases may also require the assistance of an attorney at law to ensure that the case will be handled properly and the appropriate parties receive the appropriate penalties, along with any compensation being sought by the victim.
Youth Violence Prevention Methods
Many different youth violence prevention methods are being applied in the
state of Massachusetts to try to curb this startling trend in youth violence.
Many of these programs target the root causes of violence in young people,
and they provide the youth
of Massachusetts with an alternative to turning to a violent lifestyle. Some commonly used techniques for dealing with these issues are:
- After school programs
- Recreational centers
- Community outreach programs
- Education programs
These different methods focus on providing young people with the personal attention and activities they need to stay out of trouble and away from violence.
After school programs provide young people with a positive place to spend their time after school hours, and these programs often teach useful life skills, trades, hobbies, and other activities that young people can use to put them in a more positive place.
Recreational centers, like after school programs, also provide young people with a place to spend their time away from the violence they may see in their neighborhoods. These centers have educational resources, places for sports and other physical activities, as well as lounges that allow young people to socialize in a safer and more wholesome environment.
Counseling and therapy is also being offered to young people all around the state of Massachusetts to help them to understand a more positive way of life, provide them with much needed guidance, and to help them to break the cycle of violence. Young people of all ages benefit from this type of assistance, and it has been shown to significantly help prevent youth from turning to a violent way of life. Therapy and counseling are also often used to help young people who have already been violent in the past to turn their lifestyle around to one that will be more positive and productive to society.
Education programs are some of the strongest tools in preventing youth violence around Massachusetts and the nation. These programs allow young people to learn the causes of violence, the consequences of violence, and how to stop the cycle of violence in a way that is both educational and beneficial to helping them to grow up right. These education programs are vast and varied, and they are offered in many different schools and education centers around the state of Massachusetts.