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Juvenile Delinquency in the States

explanatory Essay
1783 words
1783 words
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Juvenile Delinquency in the States Presently, juvenile justice is widely acknowledged as being in a state of flux in the United States. The early 1990s saw the most substantial rise in violent crime committed by juveniles ever experienced in this country. On the heels of decades of skepticism about the effectiveness of parens patriae (the state as parent), this rise was the "proof" for many "experts" who believe that the juvenile justice system should be abolished. These skeptics reason that one criminal court could still have some latitude when sentencing younger offenders, but that kids are now committing adult crimes, so it is time to treat them as adults. Fortunately, this is not the prevailing view. While it is a force in the field, many more "experts" think the juvenile justice system simply needs renovations. Different states treat offenders differently, and some states are role models in the way their juvenile justice systems are managed and executed. Generally, state juvenile delinquency prevention systems were overhauled as a result of the high crime rates in the early 1990s. For my political science Senior Seminar research project, I wanted to look at what factors affected state delinquency rates. I was looking for what effects the reforming (or lack thereof) of these systems has had on the crime committed by juveniles in the states. Working for the Washington, D.C. Public Defender’s Office in the fall of 1995, I witnessed first hand the inadequacies of our legal system with respect to juvenile offenders. I believe that juvenile justice is a worthwhile topic because of its relevance to every member of American society. If we do not help children in trouble today, they will not have the capacity to be functi... ... middle of paper ... ...ick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1996. Krisberg, Barry and James F. Austin. Reinventing Juvenile Justice. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, Inc., 1993. McGarrell, Edmund F. Juvenile Correctional Reform: Two Decades of Policy and Procedural Change. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1988. Renner, Tari. Statistics Unraveled. Washington, DC: International City Management Association, 1988. Snyder, Howard N. and Melissa Sickmund. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: A National Report. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1996. Torbet, Patricia, et. al. State Responses to Serious and Violent Juvenile Crime. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1996. Van Son, Victoria. CQ’s State Fact Finder: Rankings Across America. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1993.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that juvenile justice is in a state of flux in the united states. the early 1990s saw the most substantial rise in violent crime committed by juveniles.
  • Explains that many "experts" think the juvenile justice system simply needs renovations. different states treat offenders differently, and some states are role models in the way they are managed and executed.
  • Opines that juvenile justice is a worthwhile topic because of its relevance to every member of american society.
  • Explains that researching juvenile justice is difficult because juvenile court records are sealed, and juveniles only become media-accessible when transferred to adult criminal court, which may explain the rise in violent juvenile crime today.
  • Explains that crime statistics are divided into many different categories, which makes compilation difficult. correctional facilities are the sole exception to this rule, as they keep data on the state level.
  • Explains that the literature on juvenile justice is cyclical. it becomes a "hot topic" for some years, then dwindles and another hot topic comes to the forefront.
  • Explains that they decided to analyze ten state characteristics with dr. renner's assistance. they chose population, income, and percent white because they are common control variables.
  • Explains that head start enrollment is a wild-card variable in cd's state fact finder. its supporters claim it can influence the rest of the child’s life by stressing the importance of education early-on.
  • Explains that the violent crime index measures the number of arrests per 100,000 juveniles, including murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
  • Opines that the correlation between head start and dependent variables was indirect, and that states with a high percentage of children enrolled in the program stress education more than those with lower percentages.
  • Opines that head start enrollment is statistically significant for the violent crime index. the question is whether this significance is caused strictly by the programs or by states doing something else.
  • Explains that head start is more popular in the cities than in rural areas, and that it may also have possible links to crime.
  • Opines that research can be extremely difficult and time-consuming, and that a researcher must be flexible and willing to modify their opinions to fit the previous research.
  • Analyzes the violent crime indexanalysis of variancedfr square.66247 regression 10standard error 131.2801 residual 39f = 7.65438 significant f =.0000variable b beta t sig
  • Describes the demographics of the population, including head start, ch. pov, and fem hh.
  • Describes the books by martin forst, susan guarino-ghezzi, and edward j. loughran, balancing juvenile justice.
  • Cites renner, tari, snyder, howard n., and melissa sickmund. juvenile offenders and victims: a national report.
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