Adolescents’ transgressions to laws in the Latin American region are a public problem that needs more attention. This article analyzes its complex characteristics, its sociodemographic and delinquent profile in Mexico, based on data of juvenile population treated by the Adolescent Justice System. The Article develop two propositions explaining juvenile delinquency. It is the result of an interaction between the social tensions produced by a limited opportunity structure, as well as an outcome of the systematic, unequal profiling and labelling of police and judicial authorities of this disadvantaged group. The article proposes a critical reassessment of the category of amateur delinquent within the sociological and criminological literature.
Juvenile delinquency; amateurs; institutionalization of adolescents