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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 73793 Find in a Library
Title: Psychological Focus on Problem of Delinquency
Journal: Arquivos Brasilieros de Psicologia aplicada  Volume:30  Issue:1-2  Dated:(1978)  Pages:162-173
Author(s): L R DeCastro
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: Portuguese
Country: Brazil
Annotation: A psychologist assigned to a supervised liberty center for juvenile offenders in Rio de Janeiro under the jurisdiction of the local Juvenile Court, examines the divergent concepts of deviance held by psychologists and law practitioners.
Abstract: Citing the theories of Brazilian and American social psychologists (e.g.,social construction of reality), this study presents a comparative analysis of the legal doctrines and psychological concepts of deviance and juvenile delinquency. The interdisciplinary team of the Supervised Liberty Service consists of Service consists of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and probation officers whose philosophies and approaches to the clients differ. The law enforcement practitioners view delinquency is a violation of the social order from which laws and norms derive: as such, it threatens society and its members. Juvenile perpetrators of antisocial and criminal acts, if responsive and cooperative, are treated and returned to society; if they are diagnosed as untreatable and dangerous, they must be institutionalized under adequate security conditions. On the other hand, psychologists realize that the majority of juvenile offenders are only reacting to the pressures of their environments, chiefly among the lower socioeconomic strata. Lacking acceptable social role models, these young people absorb a consumeristic philosophy in which status and peer approval derives from material goods, but their only way to acquire these coveted status symbols is by theft. Juveniles are also baffled by criminal code inconsistencies (e.g., alcohol and marijuana are hazardous substances, yet only marijuana is criminalized): consequently, they often refuse to conform to norms perceived as illogical. The conflicting philosophies under which the Supervised Liberty Service operates creates conflicting expectations and defeats its stated objectives. Juvenile justice practitioners and social psychologists must reconcile their philosophical and professional diferences to achieve their shared objectives. Fifteen references are appended.
Index Term(s): Brazil; Deviance; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Juvenile codes; Juvenile courts; Juvenile delinquency theory; Legal doctrines; Probation; Psychological research; Psychological theories; Psychologists; Social control theory; Social psychology; Supervised liberty
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