Can more than one theory be used to explain crime? Absolutely. From a liberal viewpoint, there exist two fundamental theories to explain the causal factors behind juvenile delinquency. Those theories are Social Deviance Theory and Developmental Theory. Young people become socially deviant by non-conforming. They become juvenile delinquents, and turn against the very system that is trying to help them. Society has made many laws and many standards have been set.
The social deviant does not follow those rules and regulations. He / she lives a life of crime instead. An overview of approaches explains deviant behavior. Social Deviance Theory can be further broken down into five theories including anomie, differential association, social control theory, conflict theory, and labeling theory. Social Deviance Theory is an important explanation in the theory of crime. Without this explanation, it would be impossible to explain a great deal of the factors involved in juvenile delinquency.
Social Deviance Theory and Development Theories are the umbrellas under which other theories used to explain juvenile delinquency fall. Depending on the criminal and the type of crime committed, different theories are used. Youth violence in our country has risen dramatically in the past decade. The number of violent arrests of youth under the age 18 has increased dramatically: 36 percent between 1989 and 1993, more than 4 times the increased reported for adults. During that period, juvenile arrests for homicide increased by 45 percent, while adult homicide arrests increased by only 6 percent (FBI, Uniform Crime Reports, 1994).
Among teenagers 15 to 19 years old, the escalation of gun violence is particular alarming: one of every four deaths of a teenager is attributable to a firearm injury. The number of juvenile violent crime arrests will double by the year 2010 if current arrest and population trends continue. Can our communities bear another 260, 000 such arrests each year? What are the causes of this epidemic of violence? And how can we solve it? As the chief Federal agency dealing with the administration of justice for both adults and children, Department of Justice (DOJ), through its enforcement programs, U. S. Attorneys, and the office of Justice Programs and its five program bureaus, has developed an extraordinary network of programs and services to help States and local communities throughout the Nation prevent delinquency and deal with juvenile crime.