How do the juvenile courts represent a manifestation of positivist theory?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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With regard to juvenile justice, positivism holds that the background of a juvenile delinquent does much to determine his or her behavior.  This school of thought looks for the cause of delinquency in the social background and environment of the offender.  This implies that the offender can be rehabilitated if the background and environment is improved.  The juvenile justice system operates largely on this assumption.  It tries to rehabilitate youthful offenders by exposing them to more positive influences.   It tries to educate them rather than simply incarcerating them.  This shows the influence of positivism on the juvenile justice system.