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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 114805 Find in a Library
Title: Hard-Core Delinquents: Reaching Out Through the Miami Experiment
Author(s): S Gelber
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 331
Sponsoring Agency: University of Alabama Press
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Publication Number: ISBN 0-8173-0399-5
Sale Source: University of Alabama Press
315 University Blvd East
P.O. Box 870830
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
United States of America
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The ultimate belief of social work practitioners that every delinquent child can be saved was tested in a 2-year experiment with six hard-core delinquents in Miami, Fla.
Abstract: The youths were under 16 and each had at least 10 delinquency and dependency cases, including several felony arrests. At the time of their selection for participation, the juveniles were recently convicted, detained in a lockup, and awaiting transportation to the State reformatory. The experiment involved a former liquor store holdup man and ex-convict turned field counselor, a graduate-degreed supervisor familiar with the bureaucracy, and an idealistic judge willing to guarantee needed services and more. Subjects of the experiment were six selfish, recalcitrant and unappreciative clients variously characterized as the runner, the charmer, the migrant, the fighter, the drinker, and the nuisance. These youth were reprieved from the reformatory and told that they were free and that their and their families' needs, including jobs, food, housing, schooling, clothing, and counseling would be met. The highest quality staff was made available to the youths 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, without limitation on time or cost and utilizing every worthwhile resource in the community to cajole, nurture, and direct the youth. This text chronicles the experiences of these youth, their adaptation and adoption of crime, their interactions among themselves and with service providers, their families' imperviousness and the delinquents' indifference to rehabilitation efforts. While four of the six were eventually reconvicted and sentenced to prison, the experiment reveals how slow, drawn out, and uncertain the rehabilitative effort is and highlights such issues as public clamor for safe streets, the weakness of family life, the failure to improve the ghetto, and the ineffectiveness of schools. Index.
Main Term(s): Serious juvenile offenders
Index Term(s): Florida; Juvenile diversion programs; Juvenile offender attitudes; Juvenile rehabilitation; Juvenile treatment methods
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