Juvenile delinquency is also a sign of youth who are at risk of not transitioning successfully into adulthood. According to the National Conference of State Legislators, four risk factors define an increased likelihood that youth will engage in delinquent behaviors. The risk factors are school and community, family, individual, and peer. The presence of one or more of these risk factors increases the likelihood that children will be involved in the court system. For example, the DHHS study found that 20% of children from low-income families are charged with a crime by the time they turn 24, compared with 16% of children from middle-income families: and 12% of children from high-income families.
According to the American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 1,940,269 youths under 18 years old living in New York City. That is 24% of the city’s total population and more than the population of some towns across the country. That is over 1 million young minds ready to tackle today’s problems and demonstrate their strength and ingenuity. And yet, many of these youths do not have access to necessities that many of us take for granted. 30.2% of children under 18 live in households below the poverty level, and 39.4% live in households that receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Benefits. In addition, over 17,000 urban teenagers dropped out of high school during the 2010/2011 school year.