Juvenile delinquency means continuous criminal
(illegal) and/or antisocial behaviors by a minor who
cannot be controlled by the authority of his/her
parents, causes danger to others, and whose actions
become the concern of police or other law
enforcement agencies. A minor who engages in
Juvenile delinquents have not yet reached an age in which they can be treated as an
adult according to the laws of the community, although exceptions to this exist and some
juveniles are treated as adults. The decision of whether to charge a juvenile defender as
an adult or as a juvenile is left up to the prosecutor (district attorney).
If a juvenile delinquency is not charged as an adult, the individual is still subject to legal
action, according to laws and procedures that relate to minors. As such, there are
juvenile courts and juvenile detention centers. There are also at risk youth programs,
youth boot camps, juvenile boot camps, juvenile rehabilitation programs, and Scared
Straight programs designed to help juvenile delinquents stop their antisocial behaviors.
Juvenile delinquency also means breaking of the law by a minor that is not punishable by
death or life in prison. Juvenile delinquency is also known as youthful offending or youth
crime. Juvenile delinquency comes from the Latin word "juvenus" meaning "youthful," and
the Latin word "delinquere" meaning "to fail." Put the two words together and you have
"to fail youthful," meaning youths that fail.