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NCJ Number: 183594 Find in a Library
Title: Falling Juvenile Crime Rates Belie Public Images of Violent Children
Journal: Developments  Volume:14  Issue:2  Dated:June 2000  Pages:1-11
Author(s): Jeffery Fraser
Corporate Author: University of Pittsburgh
Office of Child Development
United States of America
Date Published: June 2000
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the contrast between falling juvenile crime rates and public images of violent children.
Abstract: Violent juvenile crime has fallen steadily from the historically high levels of the early 1990s. But the public perception is that “everything is terrible.” In the past decade, most States have passed laws making it easier for juveniles accused of violent crimes to be tried as adults in adult courts, where they are more likely to be incarcerated, rather than in juvenile courts, which emphasize rehabilitation. Although violent juvenile crime attracts a great deal of media attention, the majority of crimes committed by juveniles are non-index offenses such as vandalism, drug abuse, and liquor law violations and disorderly conduct. The most dramatic influence on violent juvenile crime trends has been the availability of handguns. Efforts to curb that access may have played a key role in the recent decline in juvenile crime. The image of the violent juvenile, cold-hearted and beyond redemption, may take some time to disappear. But available evidence does not support the notion of a generation of “superpredators,” which this article describes as a “social science-media-political myth.” References
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Crime control policies; Juvenile crime statistical analysis; Media coverage; Perception; Political influences; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public Opinion of Juveniles; Violence; Violent crime statistics; Violent juvenile offenders
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