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Juvenile delinquency refers to criminal acts performed by juveniles (minors), individuals younger than the statutory age of majority. Juveniles are capable of committing serious crimes, yet as they are still legally children, the way of dealing with them cannot be the same as with adult members of society, who are fully responsible for their own actions. Most legal systems prescribe specific procedures for dealing with juveniles, such as juvenile detention centers. Efforts are made to identify potential delinquents at an early age so as to provide preventive treatment. However, this has led to controversy as such youth are branded as delinquent without committing any offense.
Generally the approach taken with juvenile offenders is that they be treated more in terms of reform than punishment. Thus probation, or suspended sentencing, is common. When the offender fails to meet the standards or norms prescribed, though, the state mandates a stricter regime, often in an institution which may be termed a "reform school." The hope is that youth can be rehabilitated prior to reaching adulthood, and thus become successful contributors to society. Unfortunately, success is not guaranteed, and many learn more deviant ways leading to a life of adult crime. Successful education of all youth requires more than discipline and laws; it requires the love of parents or other adults who can take responsibility for the child materially, socially, and spiritually. Without the loving care and guidance of good parents, all people are in some sense juvenile delinquents, not fully matured as members of a society in which they fulfill their potential as individuals and offer their abilities and talents for the sake of others to the benefit of all.
There is no consensus on the starting date of the Byzantine period. Some place it during the reign of Diocletian (284-305) due to the administrative reforms he introduced, dividing the empire into a pars Orientis and a pars Occidentis. Others place it during the reign of Theodosius I (379-395) and Christendom's victory over paganism, or, following his death in 395, with the division of the empire into Western and Eastern halves. While Constantine I or Constantine the Great (died 337) legalized Christianity, Theodosius declared it to be the state religion. Others place it yet further in 476, when the last western emperor, Romulus Augustus, was forced to abdicate, thus leaving to the emperor in the Greek East sole imperial authority. In any case, the changeover was gradual and by 330, when Constantine I inaugurated his new capital, the process of Hellenization and Christianization was well underway.