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NCJ Number: 91386 Find in a Library
Title: How Bad Is the Problem of Serious and Violent Juvenile Crime? (From Metropolitan Areas and Serious Juvenile Crime, 1982, Tape M-1 - See NCJ-91384)
Author(s): A N Hamilton; H N Snyder; V Stapleton; R Gable; H Hurst
Date Published: 1982
Sponsoring Agency: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Reno, NV 89507
Sale Source: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
P.O. Box 8970
Reno, NV 89507
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Presentations examine the nature and extent of serious juvenile crime, the problem of juvenile gangs, causes and correlates of violent behavior, and the extent to which public perceptions of the effectiveness of the juvenile justice system are valid.
Abstract: The analysis of the nature and extent of violent and serious juvenile crime concludes that such crime is not as severe a problem as perceived by the public, pointing out that the National Crime Survey (a victimization survey) indicates that violent crime has only increased 5 percent for 1973-79 as the population has grown 8 percent. Further, arrest statistics indicate that juvenile crime is decreasing. Areas where the problem of serious juvenile crime is most severe in recent years include the West and the Eastern Seaboard, with the New England States having the greatest increase. In examining the juvenile gang phenomenon, a survey of a representative sampling of police departments nationwide (n=60) is discussed. Forty-five percent of the departments reported having problems with juvenile gangs. The major problem appears to be in the West, with California leading the Nation in gang-related crimes. Half of the responding departments reported Part II offenses (nonviolent offenses) to be the major problem with gangs. Regarding causes and correlates of violent crime, the general factors contributing to violent behavior are identified as internal instigators (personality or biological characteristics that render a person prone to aggression and violence), habit strength (the extent to which violence is learned as a normative form of behavior), and situational stimuli (factors in a particular situation that stimulate violence proneness and learned violent behavior). It is advised that the criminal justice has relatively little control over the factors that contribute to violent behavior. The concluding presentation reasons that there is sufficient cause for the public to be concerned about serious juvenile crime and the effectiveness of the juvenile justice system in dealing with it. Areas of the juvenile justice system that require reexamination are identified.
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Violence; Violent juvenile offenders
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