Recidivism: Causal Factors and Impacts

*****Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and is for educational purposes only. This does not create an attorney-client privilege.

Rodriguez Law Group, Inc. April 7, 2022

The prevalence of crime, from misdemeanors to felonies, escalated from the past century until the present day. Among the dissonance caused by gender discrimination and marginalization, society sheds light on recidivism, devouring the existence of justice in our protected community. Recidivism is an act of passion committed by a re-offending criminal previously convicted of serious crimes. This occurs among a myriad of diverse cultures, orientations, ethnicities, and age groups. However, certain age groups relapse into criminalistic behavior, showing them as a vulnerable target for the heart of this stifling challenge. They are recognized under the realm of juvenile recidivism.

Juvenile recidivism settled into numerous areas of California since the early twentieth century and continues to exist ever since. Generally, accusations of such offenses were gravely committed by adolescents as young as 13 and young adults as mature as 25. The correlation between age and gradual brain maturation emphasizes the adoption of criminalistic approaches, posing a greater threat to public safety. Besides, the total number of cases from the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) was comprehensively high in Juvenile Court, devoting our greater attention to the prevalence of this issue rising from 35% in 2019 to nearly 50% in 2021.

In contrast to the states preceded by their recidivist reputations, California maintained one of the lowest crime rates in the modern era, a trend pridefully extended for 30 years. Unfortunately, the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, accompanied by heightened tensions surrounding BLM protests, revealed deep racial inequity among a majority of Americans and provoked an increase in crime rates among local communities. Moreover, the presence of substance abuse and peer deviance serve a relevant purpose toward the readoption of delinquent practices among adolescents and young adults. A greater impact, although, lies in family conflict, molding the structure of a youth’s social interactions with their peers as well as externalized/internalized behaviors. The strong correlation between family conflict and juvenile recidivism is stimulated positively through the negative tolls taken upon the adolescent’s mental health.

While examining financial barriers each recidivist youth encounters, the justice system attempts to restore their reputations in society by encouraging necessary measures that restrict youth from resorting to criminal activity. Nevertheless, biological and medical concerns involving depression, anxiety, and ADHD confine youth in a bubble of criminalistic labels, restraining hindrances in the journey of acceptance. This results in an inconsistency for adolescents to sustain their social relationships with their completion of education. Such obstructions in the growth of juveniles lead them farther away from the ideal life of innovation and growth, but closer to the embrace of a life that society deems cruel and unjust. It becomes evident that social turmoil exists, and youth cannot cope with reentry services granted to them, but we have to take proactive action to amend this bitter relationship they share with a rigid society.


Bowman, John H., and Thomas J. Mowen. “A Developmental Perspective on Reentry: Understanding the Causes and Consequences of Family Conflict and Peer Delinquency during Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence, vol. 47, no. 2, 2017, p. 275, 278-280.

“Court of Commitment, Commitment Offense and Admission Status of Facility Cases, By Type, Sex and Location.” California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: Division of Juvenile Justice, 7 July 2020,

“Memorandum 2021-1: Draft of 2020 Annual Report.” Committee on Revision of The Penal Code, 8 Jan 2021,

Miller, Alexandra A., et al. “Reducing Recidivism: Transition and Reentry Practices for Detained and Adjudicated Youth with Disabilities.” Education & Treatment of Children, vol. 42, no. 3, 2019, p. 409-412. eLibrary, accountid=164834. (image)