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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 170538 Find in a Library
Title: Violence by Young People: Why the Deadly Nexus?
Journal: National Institute of Justice Journal  Issue:229  Dated:(August 1995)  Pages:2-9
Author(s): A Blumstein
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the increase in gun-related homicides committed by juveniles since 1985 concludes that this increase is linked to drug markets and the spread of guns into the community.
Abstract: Data from several sources indicate that after a period of relative stability in the rates of juvenile crime, a major turning point occurred in about 1985. The rate of homicides committed by youth, the number of homicides they committed with guns, and the arrest rate of nonwhite juveniles for drug law offenses all doubled within the next 7 years. The increase in murder by very young people after 1985 contrasts with the rates among persons ages 24 and older, among whom murder rates have declined. The most reasonable explanation for the rise in homicides by juveniles can be traced to the rapid growth of the crack markets in the mid-1980s. Juveniles were recruited to service that growth. They were armed with the guns that are standard tools of the drug trade; these guns were then diffused into the larger community of juveniles. If this explanation is valid, it implies the need for both immediate and longer-range solutions. One immediate approach would involve active steps to confiscate guns from juveniles carrying them on the street. Illegal gun markets also need greater attention. In addition, greater investment in treatment, more effective prevention, or other health care initiatives responsive to addicts' needs would reduce the demand for drugs and the volume of drugs sold in the drug markets. A cost-benefit comparison of current policies and possible alternatives is needed. Figures and reference notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile statistics
Index Term(s): Drug law offenses; Drug Related Crime; Juvenile gun ownership; Juvenile murderers; Juvenile victims; Violence causes
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