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Understanding of teen issues, immediate consequences and parent and school involvement are ways to help resolve this behavior in juveniles. How can society as a whole find the solutions necessary to reduce the influx of teenage criminals into a life of crime? As teenagers become aware of their status among their peers, they begin to ponder what can help them to become an accepted part of the ‘in crowd’ at school and in their neighborhoods.
The status symbols they look for are mostly material, whether it be who lives in the better house, who has the nicest family car or who has the most money, For those who need this acceptance, but lack the essential ingredients, there is only one way to gain it, and that is to get it, and get it any way they can, peer pressure among teens plays an important role when it comes to shoplifting. Teens try to keep up with their peers that wear the latest and greatest in today’s fashion industry (Teen Shoplifting Statistics, 201 0), As teens attempt to gain acceptance, more and more items become available to them.
Why Do Teenagers Shoplift
Cell phones, video games, Pods and other small expensive items have become popular among teens, and teens need to feel they have the test” to compete with their peers. Paced with the lack of money, they may turn to shoplifting to et those things (Teen Shoplifting Statistics, 2010). There are other reasons teens give as to why they began to shoplift, and most say that they were bored and did not have anything better to do. When a teen experiences the euphoric feeling Of getting away With shoplifting, it is much more difficult to stop.
According to the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention, there are approximately 27 million shoplifters in our nation today, or one in eleven people. Twenty-five percent of them are kids. The other seventy-five percent (over 20 million) are adults, and fifty-five percent of them, a staggering 1 1 lion, state that they started shoplifting as a kid (Shoplifting Statistics, n. D). More staggering is the revelation according to the 2006 Juvenile Offenders and Victims Report, 43% of youth reported engaging in shoplifting or theft under $50 by the time they were 1 7 years of age (National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, n,d.
It is also important to understand that getting something tort nothing means more to a shoplifter than the value Ottawa they stole. It can represent different things to different people. It is a substitute for loss if they tell they were unfairly deprived through a divorce, illness or death of a loved en, or loss of a job, When someone steals something as simple as a bottle of shampoo, it can temporarily relieve anxiety and give them a feeling of control. Poor some, it is a justified payback and for others it is a relief mechanism for depression, anxiety or frustration (Berlin, P. N. D. ).
Some teens may shoplift because of a dare from one of their friends or may act to be accepted in a group of friends that shoplift. This behavior should not be reinforced and should be treated with understanding. They need to be made aware Of the consequences of their actions enough to never want to do it again. In order to accomplish his, teens that are caught shoplifting should be detained instantly. Parents should be called and notified of the situation and be made to pick up their child.
These teens should be handcuffed and escorted through the store, and be made aware of the fact that multiple offenses may amount to a criminal record thereby making it harder for them to find a job, go to college or accomplish many of their future aspirations (Teen Shoplifting Statistics, 2010). Our prisons today are filled with many criminals who started out in their life of crime as a teen, According too study conducted by Athena Research Corp., “many juvenile fenders started out shoplifting at a convenience store and then graduated to robbery.
Its a sequence’, said Rosemary Erickson, Phd, a forensic sociologist and founder to Athena Research Corp.” (8. G. , F. , 2006). The first step in addressing this issue is parent involvement. “Parents need to be aware of their teen and notice any new items to clothing and or device. Don’t be afraid to ask your teen where they attained their new treasures. Being observant allows the teen to know their parents care and would reduce the need to steal substantially.
As small children we can all remember the time we stole candy from the cash sister line, opening it in the car feeling happy until our mom or dad noticed and reprimanded us for stealing. The loving parent then returned to the store so we could apologize to the store manager and pay for the candy. What a great teaching tool and impression this can make on the young child. Teaching children the value of honesty can be a great lesson learned as they grow throughout their life.
When faced with the pressures to shoplift, they can remember their childhood experiences and would in turn refrain from stealing” (Teen Shoplifting Statistics, 2010). Parents should not make excuses for their teens when they are caught hopping. This instills disrespect for authority Within the child, and they do not recognize that what they have done is wrong, whatever their reasons were. Parents need to listen to their teen to find the root of their behavior and understanding them is crucial in solving any problems they face.
If these tendencies are not solved during their teenage years, their behavior may carry through to their adult life, thereby creating a lifelong criminal. Even though it does not seem so, this is a serious crime that should not be treated lightly. Parents should take this opportunity to guide their children to be honest citizens Teen shoplifting statistics, 2010). In Trip-Valley California, teens that are caught shoplifting may have to face one of their peers in a volunteer diversion program known as ‘Youth Court.
Mark Lark, a 16 year old junior at Livermore High was looking for a different volunteer opportunity when he came across this program. “l think this is really cool we can help people our own age”, said Lark, who was one of the first to volunteer. This is nothing like traditional court, The offenders admit guilt before they come to court. An adult volunteer presides as judge, but the jury and attorneys from both sides are young people like Mark It is intended to steer offenders away from trouble and participation is voluntary.
With referrals from school officials, and police departments, the Youth Court proceedings will handle misdemeanors offenses such as shoplifting. Part of their sentence Will include community service and serving on a youth court jury. The offense does not go on their record, but those who do not complete their ‘sentence’ get a couple of warnings before their cases are sent back to the official juvenile justice system where they may suffer a more conventional punishment.
Coordinators are hoping that being judged by their peers might have an impact n recidivism and may have more meaning if it was not coming from adults. “There is definitely a difference in the way you are treated,” said Darrel White, youth offender program director for Oakland, CA. “Once you get in the juvenile justice system, it is hard to get out” (Lie, E. 2008) Together, Parents and school systems can join together to assist in the prevention of teen shoplifting and other teen behaviors.
Schools can implement more volunteer opportunities, after school activities and better counseling, parents can become more involved in the everyday elite toothier children, remembering the time when they homeless were teenagers and the issues that they faced, Goth can assist in the education oftenest teens which would help offenders understand how shoplifting affects the lives of real people, not just the stores they shoplift from, They need to know the laws, how technology is used to catch shoplifters, and how much risk is involved.
They can also understand the hardships they may face in their lives that can be caused by shoplifting, such as humiliation, embarrassment, going to jail, loss of trust by parents, friends and family, having a criminal record and difficulty getting a job, to name a few (Why Educational Rehabilitation Helps, . D. ) In essence, the solutions for the shoplifting epidemic are simple. It is a matter of whether or not the parents of these offenders and society as a whole are Willing enough to get involved and join together in creating a better future for these children.
Today, there are more issues facing these children as more and more families struggle to survive in the face Of the recessionary environment. Many families are finding it more difficult to make ends meet, which in turn leaves less ability to give kids What they feel they need to bring them to the level of their peers. Giving them attention, educating them on the rights and wrongs of society and understanding their issues is a giant step in solving the ongoing problem of shoplifting.