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Female Juvenile Delinquent Behavior

Brenda Rodriguez came to the United States with her family from El Salvador when she was 14 years old. Upon moving to the United States, both her parents took two jobs each to keep the family afloat financially. This meant that Brenda was left unsupervised for extended periods of time.

Brenda struggled in school since her grasp of English was poor. She made few friends. Eventually, she joined the local chapter of MS-13, a violent, Hispanic gang with roots in El Salvador. The gang made her feel welcomed and gave her money. Brenda made many friends in the group. She even found a boyfriend. Very quickly she learned that participating in drug deals and property crimes for the gang meant that she could have more money to buy nice things for herself.

She was arrested twice for petty crimes such as graffiti and disturbing the peace. When Brenda turned 15, she was arrested for her part in a vicious beating of a rival gang member.

Based on Brenda's case along with your readings and research identify the differences between male and female juvenile delinquents and how the juvenile system responds to each. Include in your response answers to the following questions:

What specific social and other predictor factors may have influenced Brenda's delinquent behavior? How?

How should the juvenile justice system handle Brenda's case? Why?

Does the juvenile justice system respond to males and females differently? Why? Are indeterminate sentencing practices a good option for juvenile females such as Brenda? Why?

What impact will an indeterminate sentence have on Brenda? Will she be more likely to commit serious offenses as an adult in her later life? Why?

Please include references.

Solution Preview

What specific social and other predictor factors may have influenced Brenda's delinquent behavior? How?

Brenda was influenced by several factors germane to immigrants including lack of familiarity with the culture, inability to speak the language, and a poorly supervised home life because of poverty. In addition, her relatability toward those from her home country who were already in the gang was another contributing factor. This and her trouble at school resulted in her longing for acceptance, which was provided by the gang.

How should the juvenile justice system handle Brenda's case? Why?

Brenda is still capable of being reformed, but it will require an intensive approach wherein she must be removed from the ...

Solution Summary

This response contrasts the difference between males and females in the juvenile system.

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