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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76175 Find in a Library
Title: Prediction of Violent Behavior in Juveniles - A Review of the Literature
Author(s): J R Grammer; L Dawson
Corporate Author: Texas Youth Cmssn
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Texas Youth Cmssn
Austin, TX 78751
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper summarizes recent research trends and professional opinions regarding increases in violent juvenile crime, the prediction of violent behavior, and correctional approaches to the violent juvenile offender.
Abstract: A violent juvenile offender is defined as a youth who is guilty of acts or threatened acts of violence against a person, combined with serious property offenses linked to repetitive criminal behavior of a less serious nature. While most criminal justice authorities agree that violence among juveniles is being reported at a higher rate than in the last decade, some attribute this rise to increased law enforcement efforts rather than real increases in violent behavior. No accurate techniques for predicting potentially dangerous behavior are available. Most studies emphasize personality factors such as motivation, internal inhibitors, and habit strength, but situational factors can facilitate or impede violence. Techniques commonly used to predict dangerousness are the clinical case study which gathers a broad range of information about a subject and the statistical method which assesses only facts related to criminal behavior. Both approaches tend to overclassify the violent offender and ignore the possibility of change through maturation or rehabilitation. One study concludes that past behavior is the best predictor of future violence, but that combined statistical and clinical methods improve prediction validity. Numerous researchers have linked specific variables to violent offenders, such as poor reading skills and low IQ, but these data have been relatively useless for predictions. Other studies indicate that the perception of dangerousness in another person reflects characteristics of the evaluator rather than the potential offender. In response to the apparent increase in juvenile crime, the public has demanded more severe treatment for the violent offender. Deinstitutionalization may result in the total occupation of traditional correctional institutions by violent juvenile offenders. Special programs developed for this group in Michigan, New York, Maine, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania are discussed. These facilities are distinguished primarily by their admission standards rather than innovative treatment or educational approaches. The review is based on 21 references. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Criminality prediction; Juvenile correctional facilities; Juveniles; Literature reviews; Violent crime statistics; Violent offenders
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