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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76987 Find in a Library
Title: Black and White Violent Delinquents - A Longitudinal Cohort Study (From Race, Crime, and Criminal Justice, P 109-125, 1981, R L McNeely and Carl E Pope, ed. - See NCJ-76982)
Author(s): R L Schuster
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study of violent juveniles in Franklin County, Ohio illustrates the many similarities between black and white violent offenders and suggests that the 'violent' label may be a misnomer.
Abstract: The sample consisted of 1,138 youths born in the years 1956 through 1960 who were arrested for at least one violent offense. The incidence of official violent involvement and the social and arrest characteristics of the juveniles were studied. Social variables included race, socioeconomic status, family composition, and companion crime. Arrest variables included total number of arrests, age of onset, spacing between violent arrests, type of arrest offense, and disposition of arrest. The dynamic nature of the arrest career was examined, using age of onset, spacing, and the position of violent arrests as variables. To prevent distortion of the findings, only 811 youths who had completed their juvenile careers were used for the portions of the analysis devoted to career. The findings showed that black involvement in the violent cohort far exceeded their proportion of the birth cohort. However, comparison of black and white violent offenders on social and arrest characteristics did not disclose any substantial correlations. For example, white youths had about the same number of total and violent arrests as blacks, and the types of violent arrests were nearly similar for both races. Social characteristics were also similar. The policy implications of this study offset those of the 1972 Philadelphia study which concluded that if the resources of the justice system were focused on lower socioeconomic status blacks, the most serious crime would be reduced. However, based on this study's findings, there should be no rush to establish a separate antidelinquency program for blacks. The study also indicated that only a minority of blacks ever came in contact with the police for violence. For example, the black violent cohort represented only 5.6 percent of the black birth cohort. Furthermore, few of the youths, black or white, could be truly called 'violent delinquents.' The majority of violent arrests were for the less serious violent offenses of single assault, sexual imposition, and unarmed robbery. Few of these youths were repetitively violent. Thus, more research must be done to develop an adequate knowledge base about violent juveniles before any policy changes can be formulated. A discussion of prior research, statistical data, notes, and about 50 references are included.
Index Term(s): Arrest statistics; Black/African Americans; Black/White Crime Comparisons; Comparative analysis; Crime Rate; Juvenile delinquency factors; Longitudinal studies; Ohio; Violent juvenile offenders
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