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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76684 Find in a Library
Title: Testimony of Michael E Smith, Director, Vera Institute of Justice, Before the US Senate Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency, April 12, 1978
Author(s): M E Smith
Corporate Author: Vera Institute of Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Vera Institute of Justice
New York, NY 10279
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislative/Regulatory Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The director of the Vera Institute of Justice testified before a Senate subcommittee in 1978 regarding research and action programs which address serious juvenile crime.
Abstract: While funds have been abundant for programs and research aimed at status offenders and minor delinquents, it has been difficult to attract financing to investigate or prevent serious juvenile crime. The most difficult problem in dealing with seriously delinquent juveniles in a community-based program is controlling and monitoring their behavior without interfering with other treatment goals. For example, a program in Connecticut with a very low staff to participant ratio uses four levels of restraint and begins by closely monitoring a juvenile and gradually moving them to less restrictive levels. Violation of these restrictions delays progress or can result in removal to training school. An abbreviated agenda of important research topics includes how the system processes cases of serious juvenile crime, the relationship between nonbehavioral factors and delinquency, evaluations of existing treatment programs, and cohort studies. The witness's prepared statement is appended to the testimony. It describes studies on serious juvenile delinquency undertaken by the Vera Institute for the Ford Foundation which demonstrated that only a small percentage of juvenile offenders were involved in serious crime. Little consensus on the etiology of juvenile violence was found, and data on the effectiveness of programs for violent delinquents were scarce. Consequently, the Institute recommended that a research and development program be initiated which focused on chronic offenders. Specific projects now being conducted by the Institute are detailed, along with a complete research agenda. Ideas for programs are outlined.
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile recidivists; Research organizations; Research programs; Testimony; Violent crimes; Violent juvenile offenders
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