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NCJ Number: 173669 Find in a Library
Title: Deterrence and Homeless Male Street Youths
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology  Volume:40  Issue:1  Dated:January 1998  Pages:27-60
Author(s): S W Baron; L W Kennedy
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 34
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This study explored the effects of the threat of formal punishment on the criminal behavior of homeless male street youth in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with particular emphasis on how these effects were shaped by living conditions and other lifestyle factors.
Abstract: Interview data were collected in May-July 1995 and focused on serious property crimes and violent offenses. Information on dependent variables, several measures of criminal involvement, was obtained through self-reports. Independent variables included formal sanctions and informal control. Findings revealed many street youth feared legal sanctions but more serious offenders did not. Instead, fear of punishment was reduced by poverty, drug use, association with criminal peers, and missing normative constraints. Serious street youth offenders were immersed in a lifestyle in which crime, drugs, and criminal peers fed off each other and isolated these offenders from conventional society. Poverty, homelessness, peer support, and conventional commitments influenced perceptions of threatened formal sanctions but did not exhibit any direct effects on crime. The authors suggest traditional models of deterrence must be re-examined when dealing with at-risk groups. 81 references, 7 notes, 3 tables, and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Foreign juvenile delinquency
Index Term(s): Canada; Deterrence; Economic influences; Foreign crime prevention; Homeless children; Homeless offenders; Juvenile crime control; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile delinquency research; Juvenile drug abusers; Juvenile drug use; Peer influences on behavior; Poverty and crime; Self-report studies; Serious juvenile offenders; Violent juvenile offenders
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