Juvenile Delinquency

Juvenile Delinquency in the United States

Juvenile Crime Causes of delinquency

Introduction to Juvenile Delinquency

Many theories concerning the causes of juvenile crime focus either on the individual or on society as the major contributing influence. Theories centering on the individual suggest that children engage in criminal behavior because they were not sufficiently penalized for previous delinquent acts or that they have learned criminal behavior through interaction with others. A person who becomes socially alienated may be more inclined to commit a criminal act. Theories focusing on the role of society in juvenile delinquency suggest that children commit crimes in response to their failure to rise above their socioeconomic status, or as a repudiation of middle-class values.

Most theories of juvenile delinquency have focused on children from disadvantaged families, ignoring the fact that children from affluent homes also commit crimes. The latter may commit crimes because of the lack of adequate parental control, delays in achieving adult status, and hedonistic tendencies. All theories, however, are tentative and are subject to criticism.

Changes in the American social structure may indirectly affect juvenile crime rates. For example, changes in the economy that lead to fewer job opportunities for youth and rising unemployment in general make gainful employment increasingly difficult for young people to obtain. The resulting discontent may in turn lead more youths into criminal behavior.

Families have also experienced changes within the last 25 years. More families consist of one-parent households or two working parents; consequently, children are likely to have less supervision at home than was common in the traditional family structure. This lack of parental supervision is thought to be an influence on juvenile crime rates. Other identifiable causes of delinquent acts include frustration or failure in school, the increased availability of drugs and alcohol, and the growing incidence of child abuse and child neglect. All these conditions tend to increase the probability of a child committing a criminal act, although a direct causal relationship has not yet been established.” (1)

Finding the law: Juvenile Delinquency in the U.S. Code

A collection of general and permanent laws relating to juvenile delinquency, passed by the United States Congress, are organized by subject matter arrangements in the United States Code (U.S.C.; this label examines juvenile delinquency topics), to make them easy to use (usually, organized by legal areas into Titles, Chapters and Sections). The platform provides introductory material to the U.S. Code, and cross references to case law. View the U.S. Code’s table of contents here.

Juvenile Delinquency

In Legislation

Juvenile Delinquency in the U.S. Code: Title 18, Part IV, Chapter 403

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating juvenile delinquency are compiled in the United States Code under Title 18, Part IV, Chapter 403. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Criminal Law (including juvenile delinquency) of the United States. The readers can further narrow their legal research on the topic by chapter and subchapter.

Resources

Notes and References

Guide to Juvenile Delinquency

Resources

See Also

Adolescence; Collective behavior.

Child Abuse: Physical Abuse and Neglect; Childhood, Stages of: Adolescence; Children of Alcoholics; Conduct Disorders; Conflict: Family Relationships; Discipline; Divorce: Effects on Children; Gangs; Interparental Conflict- Effects on Children; Neighborhood; Oppositionality; Poverty; Runaway Youths; Self-Esteem; Single-Parent Families; Spanking; Substance Abuse; Temperament

Children’s Rights; Homeless Children and Runaways in the United States; Juvenile Justice; Youth Gangs.

Further Reading (Books)

Akers, Ronald L. 1964 Socio-economic Status and Delinquent Behavior: A Retest. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 1:38-46.

Bandura, Albert; and Walters, Richard H. 1959 Adolescent Aggression: A Study of the Influence of Child-training Practices and Family Interrelationships. New York: Ronald Press.

Becker, Howard S. 1963 Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance. New York and London: Free Press.

Bonger, William A. (1905) 1916 Criminality and Economic Conditions. Boston: Little. _ First published as Criminalite et conditions economiques.

Bordua, David J. 1961 Delinquent Subcultures: Sociological Interpretations of Gang Delinquency. American Academy of Political and Social Science, Annals 338:119-136.

Briar, Scott; and Piliavin, Irving 1965 Delinquency, Situational Inducements, and Commitment to Conformity. Social Problems 13:35-45.

Christie, Nels 1960 Unge Norske lovovertredere. Universitetet i Oslo, Institutt for Kriminologi og Strafferet, Skrifter, No. 4. Oslo and Bergen: Universitetsforlaget.

Cicourel, Aaron V.; and Kitsuse, John I. 1963 A Note on the Uses of Official Statistics. Social Problems 11:131-139.

Clark, John P.; and Wenninger, Eugene P. 1962 Socio-economic Class and Area as Correlates of Illegal Behavior Among Juveniles. American Sociological Review 27:826-834.

Cloward, Richard A.; and Ohlin, Lloyd E. 1960 Delinquency and Opportunity: A Theory of Delinquent Gangs. Glencoe, III.: Free Press.

Cohen, Albert K. (1955) 1963 Delinquent Boys: The Culture of the Gang. New York: Free Press. Cohen, Albert K. 1965 The Sociology of the Deviant Act: Anomie Theory and Beyond. American Sociological Review 30:5-14.

Gibbons, Don C. 1965 Changing the Lawbreaker: The Treatment of Delinquents and Criminals. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

Healy, William; and Bronner, Augusta F. 1936 New Light on Delinquency and Its Treatment. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press.

Hewitt, Lester E.; and Jenkins, Richard L. 1947 Fundamental Patterns of Maladjustment: The Dynamics of Their Origin. Springfield, III.: Thomas.

Hurwitz, Stephan (1947)1952 Criminology. London: Allen & Unwin. _ First published in Danish.

Lemert, Edwin M. 1964 Social Structure, Social Control and Deviation. Pages 57-97 in Marshall B. Clinard (editor), Anomie and Deviant Behavior: A Discussion and Critique. New York: Free Press.

Lombroso, Cesare (1899) 1911 Crime: Its Causes and Remedies. Boston: Little. _ First published in French.

Mccord, William; Mccord, Joan; and Zola, Irving K. 1959 Origins of Crime: A New Evaluation of the Cambridge-Somerville Youth Study. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

Matza, David 1964a Delinquency and Drift. New York: Wiley.

Matza, David 1964b Position and Behavior Patterns of Youth. Pages 191-216 in Robert E. L. Faris (editor), Handbook of Modern Sociology. Chicago: Rand McNally.

Merton, Robert K. 1938 Social Structure and Anomie. American Sociological Review 3:672-682.

Miller, Walter B. 1958 Lower Class Culture as a Generating Milieu of Gang Delinquency. Journal of Social Issues 14, no. 3:5-19.

Miller, Walter B. 1962 The Impact of a “Total-community” Delinquency Control Project. Social Problems 10:168-191.

Mobilization for Youth, Inc. 1961 A Proposal for the

Prevention and Control of Delinquency by Expanding Opportunities. New York: Mobilization for Youth, Training Department.

Morris, Terence 1958 The Criminal Area: A Study in Social Ecology. London: Routledge; New York: Humanities.

Powers, Edwin; and Witmer, Helen 1951 An Experiment in the Prevention of Delinquency: The Cambridge-Somerville Youth Study. New York: Columbia Univ. Press; Oxford Univ. Press.

Reiss, Albert J. Jr. 1952 Social Correlates of psychological Types of Delinquency. American Sociological Review. 17:717-718.

Reiss, Albert J. Jr.; and Rhodes, A. Lewis 1964 An Empirical Test of Differential Association Theory. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 1:5- 18.

Further Reading (Articles)

Shaw, Clifford/ R. 1929 Delinquency Areas: A Study of the Geographic Distribution of School Truants, Juvenile Delinquents, and Adult Offenders in Chicago. Univ. of Chicago Press.

Shaw, Clifford R.; and Mckay, Henry D. 1942 Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas: A Study of Rates of Delinquents in Relation to Differential Characteristics of Local Communities in American Cities. Univ. of Chicago Press.

Shaw, Clifford R.; and Moore, M. E. 1931 Natural History of a Delinquent Career. Univ. of Chicago Press.

Short, James F. Jr.; and STRODTBECK, FRED L. 1965 Group Process and Gang Delinquency. Univ. of Chicago Press.

Spergel, Irving A. 1964 Racketville, Slumtown, Haulburg: An Exploratory Study of Delinquent Subcultures. Univ. of Chicago Press.

Stanfield, Robert E. 1966 The Interaction of Family Variables and Gang Variables in the Aetiology of Delinquency. Social Problems 13:411-417.

Sutherland, Edwin H.; and Cressey, Donald R. 1960

Principles of Criminology. 6th ed. New York: Lippincott. _ First published in 1924 as a textbook, Criminology, under the sole authorship of Edwin H. Suther-land.

Tannenbaum, Frank (1938) 1963 Crime and the Community. New York: Columbia Univ. Press. Thrasher, Frederic (1927) 1960 The Gang: A Study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago. 2d ed., rev. Univ. of Chicago Press. _ An abridged edition was published in 1963.

Wheeler, Stanton 1965 Criminal Statistics: A Reformulation of the Problem. American Statistical Association, Social Statistics Section, Proceedings [1965]: 29-35.

Yablonsky, Lewis 1962 The Violent Gang. New York: Macmillan.

Further Reading (Articles 2)

Abrahamsen, David 1960 The Psychology of Crime. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

Baker, Bela O.; and Sarbin, Theodore R. 1956 Differential Mediation of Social Perception as a Correlate of Social Adjustment. Sociometry 19:69-83.

Block, Herbert A.; and Flynn, Frank T. 1956 Delinquency: The Juvenile Offender in America Today. New York: Random House.

Block, Herbert A.; and Geis, Gilbert 1962 Man, Crime, and Society: The Forms of Criminal Behavior. New York: Random House.

Bowlby, John (1944)1946 Forty-four Juvenile Thieves: Their Characters and Home-life. London: Baillière.

Buell, Bradley et al. 1952 Community Planning for Human Services. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

Caplan, Nathan S. 1965 Intellectual Functioning. Pages 100-138 in Herbert C. Quay (editor), Juvenile Delinquency: Research and Theory. Princeton, N.J.: Van Nostrand.

Cloward, Richard A.; and OHLIN, LLOYD E. 1960 Delinquency and Opportunity: A Theory of Delinquent Gangs. Glencoe, III.: Free Press.

Cohen, AlbertK. 1955 Delinquent Boys: The Culture of the Gang. Glencoe, III.: Free Press.

Dinitz, Simon; Reckless, Walter C.; and Kay, Barbara 1958 A Self Gradient Among Potential Delinquents. Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science 49:230-233.

Glueck, Sheldon (editor) 1959 The Problem of Delinquency. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Glueck, Sheldon; and Glueck, Eleanor 1950 Unraveling Juvenile Delinquency. Harvard Law School Studies in Criminology. New York: Commonwealth Fund; Oxford Univ. Press.

Glueck, Sheldon; and Glueck, Eleanor 1959 Predicting Delinquency and Crime. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.

Goddard, Henry H. 1921 Juvenile Delinquency. New York: Dodd.

Goring, Charles B. 1913 The English Convict: A Statistical Study. London: H.M. Stationery Office.

Hathaway, Starke R.; and Monachesi, Elio D. (editors) 1953 Analyzing and Predicting Juvenile Delinquency With the MMPI. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press.

Further Reading (Articles 3)

Healy, William; and Bronner, Augusta F. 1936 New Light on Delinquency and Its Treatment. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press.

Hewitt, Lester E.; and Jenkins, Richard L. 1947 Fundamental Patterns of Maladjustment: The Dynamics of Their Origin. Springfield, III.: Thomas.

Lindner, Robert M. 1942/1943 Experimental Studies in Constitutional Psychopathic Inferiority. Journal of Criminal Psychopathology 4:252-276; 484-503.

Lombroso, Cesare (1899) 1918 Crime, Its Causes and Remedies. Boston: Little. _ First published in French.

Mccord, William; and Mccord, Joan 1964 The Psychopath: An Essay on the Criminal Mind. Princeton, N.J.: Van Nostrand.

Mccord, William; Mccord, Joan; and Zola, Irving 1959 Origins of Crime. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

Mannheim, Hermann 1948 Juvenile Delinquency in an English Middletown. London: Routledge.

Mays, John B. 1963 Crime and the Social Structure. London: Faber.

Merton, Robert K. (1949) 1957 Social Theory and Social Structure. Rev. & enl. ed. Glencoe, III.: Free Press.

Miller, Walter B. 1958 Lower Class Culture as a Generating Milieu of Gang Delinquency. Journal of Social Issues 14, no. 3:5-19.

Ostrow, Mortimer; and Ostrow, Miriam 1946 Bilaterally Synchronous Paroxysmal Slow Activity in the Electroencephalograms of Non-epileptics. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 103:346-358.

Parsons, Talcott (1949) 1954 Essays in Sociological Theory. Rev. ed. Glencoe, III.: Free Press.

Powers, Edwin; and Witmer, Helen 1951 An Experiment in the Prevention of Delinquency. New York: Columbia Univ. Press; Oxford Univ. Press.

Quay, Herbert C. 1965 Personality and Delinquency. Pages 139-169 in Herbert C. Quay (editor), Juvenile Delinquency: Research and Theory. Princeton, N.J.: Van Nostrand.

Reckless, Walter C. 1940 Criminal Behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Reiss, Albert J. Jr. 1952 Social Correlates of psychological Types of Delinquency. American Sociological Review 17:710-718.

Rou_ek, Joseph S. (editor) 1958 Juvenile Delinquency. New York: Philosophical Library.

Schuessler, Karl F.; and Cressey, Donald R. 1950

Personality Characteristics of Criminals. American Journal of Sociology 55:476-484.

Shaw, Clifford R.; and Moore, M. E. 1931 Natural History of a Delinquent Career. Univ. of Chicago Press.

Sheldon, William H. 1949 Varieties of Delinquent Youth. New York: Harper.

Siebert, Lawrence A. 1962 Otis I.Q. Scores of Delinquents. Journal of Clinical Psychology 18:517 only.

Siegman, Aron W. 1961 The Relationship Between Future Time Perspective, Time Estimation, and Impulse Control in a Group of Young Offenders and in a Control Group. Journal of Consulting Psychology 25:470-475.

Stafford-Clark, D.; Pond, Desmond; and Lovett Doust, J. W. 1951 The Psychopath in Prison: A Preliminary Report of a Co-operative Research. British Journal of Delinquency 2:117-129.

Sutherland, Edwin H. 1931 Mental Deficiency and Crime. Pages 357-375 in Kimball Young (editor), Social Attitudes. New York: Holt.

Sutherland, Edwin H.; and Cressey, Donald R. (1924) 1960 Principles of Criminology. 6th ed. New York: Lippincott. _ First published as Criminology, under the sole authorship of Edwin H. Sutherland.

Thrasher, FredericThe Gang: A Study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago. Abridged and with an introduction by James F. Short. Univ. of Chicago Press.

Wechsler, David(1939) 1958 The Measurement and Appraisal of Adult Intelligence. 4th ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins. _ First published as The Measurement of Adult Intelligence.

Wootton, Barbara [Adam] 1959 Social Science and Social Pathology. London: Allen & Unwin; New York: Macmillan.

Yablonsky, Lewis 1962 The Violent Gang. New York: Macmillan.

Bloch, Herbert A.; and Niederhoffer, Arthur 1958 The Gang: A Study in Adolescent Behavior. New York: Philosophical Library.

Bordua, David J. 1961 Delinquent Subcultures: Sociological Interpretations of Gang Delinquency. American Academy of Political and Social Science, Annals 338:119-136.

Centre de Formation et de Recherche de L’Education Surveille

Public Opinion about Juvenile Delinquency in relation to Crime and Race

Public Opinion about Juvenile Delinquency is included in the Encyclopedia of Race and Crime (1), beginning with: Delinquency has always existed in American society; however, in the past decade the public has begun to perceive juvenile delinquency as a major threat to the safety and stability of society. This is so even though national crime data do not support this perception. For example, an analysis of Uniform Crime Report statistics for 1995 and 2006 indicate that even though the country’s population increased by 20 million, the total number of juveniles arrested decreased by 460,000. In fact, serious crimes of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault decreased 64%. This leads one to wonder why the public has become so concerned about delinquency that it supports the growing national trend toward juvenile waivers, in which jurisdiction is transferred from the juvenile justice system to the criminal justice system, so that children become eligible for prosecution as adults.

Resources

Notes and References

  1. Entry about Public Opinion about Juvenile Delinquency in the Encyclopedia of Race and Crime

See Also

Juvenile Delinquency in the Criminal Justice System

Juvenile Delinquency: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Juvenile Delinquency. This part provides references, in relation to Juvenile Delinquency, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Juvenile Delinquency by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Juvenile Delinquency and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Juvenile Delinquency or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Juvenile Delinquency and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Juvenile Delinquency. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Juvenile Delinquency should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Juvenile Delinquency when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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