Juvenile crime and punishment : a closer look at habitual offenders


Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote in his acclaimed novel Crime and Punishment, "if he has a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be punishment as well as the prison."1 The plague of guilt on the mind of a criminal is a key element in this book and is quite applicable to the case study at hand which examines why some juveniles are habitual criminal offenders. What prompts a youth to commit crimes? How does a child deal with his conscience for the unlawful acts? Does he understand right from wrong, truth from falsehoods, and freedom from repercussions? And should there be more stringent punishments by the state for committing the offenses? Society has developed ideas on what is acceptable in handling problem children. The justice system has turned from the idea of punishing offending youths to rehabilitating them. However, given the many problems our country faces with crime rates for juvenile offenders, perhaps society should question if the methods currently employed are effective. This examination specifically reviews the crime rates in Florida and how the law is applied to youths. This thesis aims to discover aspects of what encourages children to commit violent acts and which governmental and societal methods employed are successful or ineffective in treating this behavior. The purpose of this thesis is to probe the boundaries of our society and provoke social imagination to find resolutions in how the state may bring down crime rates for this age group.


This item is only available in print in the UCF Libraries. If this is your thesis or dissertation, you can help us make it available online for use by researchers around the world by downloading and filling out the Internet Distribution Consent Agreement. You may also contact the project coordinator Kerri Bottorff for more information.

Thesis Completion





Ramjeawan, Rudranath


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Health and Public Affairs

Degree Program

Legal Studies


Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs;Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

This document is currently not available here.