The “Creation” of Childhood and Delinquency Early Conceptualizations of Childhood
“ The history of childhood is a nightmare from which we have only recently begun to awake. The further back in history one goes, the lower the level of child care, and the more likely children are to be killed, abandoned, beaten, terrorized, and sexually abused.” Lloyd DeMause., 1974:1
A social construction suggests that what we experience as “reality” is not intrinsically what we experience. Consider the musical scale. Have you ever wondered why the diatonic scale has 12 notes? Musical tones are continuous. We arbitrarily divide it into 12. Some cultures have 15--or more! What is a “social construction?”
A “social construction,” then, takes an event, behavior, or phenomenon, and imputes meaning into it.
Childhood as a social construction There is certainly a biological and chronological reality inherent in the concept of “childhood.” However, the attributes that we assign to this chronological age are socially defined or constructed: Need for protection from adult vices (e.g., smoking and drinking) Acceptance of public nudity or near-nudity (depending on age)
Unacceptability of working for an employer for pay
Early Conceptualizations of Childhood Childhood as we understand it dates only to somewhere between the 14th and 17th centuries
Prior to this time, “small people” were either accorded no social presence at all, or were regarded as miniature adults
Children as “Non-Human Infanticide -especially illegitimate, deformed, poor, later born, and girls Abandonment --often left on the streets, on door stoops and in orphanages. Another common form was wetnursing. Practices which reflected this “social construction:”
Swaddling --seen on the right, involved depriving the child of use of limbs by wrapping them in endless bandage. Child could be left unattended
Children as “miniature adults” Adult punishment for misdeeds --punishments for children were severe, even the death penalty, for minor offenses Slavery and Apprenticeship --children were commonly sold into slavery, prostitution and apprenticeship. Sometimes as security on debts, or as political hostages Practices which reflected this “social construction:” Even the paintings of this time portrayed children as adults, as can be seen in this portrait.
Morality, sex and prostitution --children were exposed to adult sexuality from an early age, and even used as prostitutes
In Summary…. There really was no “good old days” for children. The history of childhood is a rather dim one The treatment of children in the past would be regarded as criminal today--these treatments were normal by the standards of that day!
The “child” as we understand him/her today is a product of the last 200-500 years, and primarily a creation of the Industrial Revolution.
Changing Images of Childhood
Contrasting Views of Childhood
As the concept of childhood began to take root, two contrasting views of the nature of the child began to take form:
The Innocent Child This view of the child emerged in the late 17th century. It is largely a product of the Enlightenment, which sees humanity as essentially good or potentially good-- tabula rasa. There is also a Christian influence here--e.g., Christ’s mandate to “… become as little children. ”
With this view, it was mandatory that the child be safeguarded from the evils of the adult world.
The Depraved Child This understanding of childhood was grounded strongly in the Calvinist doctrine of the depravity of human nature. Hence, the child must be guarded from the temptation to do evil. Consequently, training, discipline, and education were stressed as a way to insulate the child from evil temptation.
Proper manners were stressed to provide a highly structured framework for social behavior.
Emerging Childrearing Practices Many of the old practices, such as wetnursing, continued, but with greater care and deliberation. Emerging principles of childrearing to emerge included: close supervision of children
modesty in dress and behavior
Social Forces in the Emerging Conception of Childhood Protestant Reformation -- emphasis on “this world” asceticism rather than “other world” mysticism of Catholicism. Nuclear Family-- did not emerge until the Industrial Revolution. Resulted in greater emphasis on childrearing, etc.
School-- first public school in U.S. established in 1647. Apprenticeship system gave way to public school system.
Social Stratification and the Emerging Conception of Childhood Economic Stratification -- new “bourgeois” middle class emerged which embodied the essence of the ideal child and ideal family, and dominated the schools Racial Stratification -- education was not made available to minority children, but they were expected to adhere to non-minority rules. Gender Stratification --girls less valued than boys, and often deprived of formal education.
Age Stratification --more and more age segregation in schools and the workplace. Length of adolescence is increasing.
The “Invention” of Delinquency
Eighteenth Century Understanding of Delinquency By this time, the concept of childhood was fully developed. 18th century life was dominated by three major social institutions: family, church, and community. Crime and deviance were generally equated with sin and immorality Consequently, there was little attempt to rehabilitate the offender
Rather, criminals were punished as an example to the rest of the community
The Child Offender in the Eighteenth Century There was no special category called a “juvenile delinquent” at this time. The American legal system relied on common law tradition: children under 7 were automatically presumed innocent because of their age children over 14 were automatically judged as an adult
children between 7 and 14 were presumed innocent because of their age, but could be found guilty under certain circumstances
Crime, Poverty and Minority Status in the Eighteenth Century Poverty was not associated with a predisposition to criminality as it would in the 19th and 20th centuries Poverty was not seen as indication of a breakdown in social order Rather, the poor were seen as opportunities to practice charity There were no “poor houses” or other forms of institutionalization of the poor at this time African-Americans comprised 20% of the population However, they had no input into the political system They were not even citizens, and hence not protected by the laws of this country
Nevertheless, they were expected to abide by these laws
Nineteenth Century Changes There were two broad types of changes sweeping American and western societies generally:
Philosophical Shifts Enlightenment ideas of wrongdoing had by now become firmly established This resulted in a shift in understanding of the source of deviance and crime
Crime is now understood to be caused by external forces operating on the individual
Nineteenth Century Social and Organizational Changes The population in the country was growing rapidly:
Simultaneously, there was a change from an agrarian economy to an industrial economy
The Creation of the Institution to remove offenders from the community to keep it “pure” and a better environment; Entry to Folsom Prison a better way to “reform” the offender than other forms of punishment purpose of separate institutions for juveniles was to separate them from hardened adult criminals Two types of juvenile institutions Houses of Refuge-- housed juvenile offenders Orphan Asylums-- housed abandoned and orphaned children
Several reforms took place over the 19th century in response to charges that these institutions were not a positive influence on children
Creation of the Juvenile Court Through a series of court decisions, the concept of parens patriae became broadened and the state became increasingly involved in determining the fitness of families The first separate juvenile court was established in Chicago in 1899 There have been two explanations for why the juvenile court was established
The Revisionist Explanation
What is Juvenile Delinquency? Delinquency as Deviance
A Preliminary Definition...
“ Juvenile delinquency is an act committed by a minor which violates the penal code of the government with authority over the area in which the act occurred.”
A Preliminary Distinction... Acts which are considered criminal if committed by adults, and punishable as criminal Offenses which are judicable only when committed by juveniles
Examples include running away from home, truancy, etc.
Delinquency as a Violation of Social Norms Dimensions of Norms
Relativity of Norms, Deviance and Delinquency Norms vary across a number of dimensions:
Groups within a single society
Institutional Definitions of Delinquency
Jurisdictional Definitions of Delinquency
Each state has its own definition of what constitutes delinquency. Differences are most pronounced in the area of status offenses.
Who is the Juvenile Delinquent? Living in a delinquent environment Commission of a delinquent offense Reporting of act to police Arrest Appearance in court Institutionalization Adjudication
Issue 1 : Level of Involvement in the Juvenile Justice System
Who is the Juvenile Delinquent? Most states abide by a common law definition of 7 or 10 Some states specify either of these in their code All states have an upper age limit (after which one is adjudicated an adult) Most states establish age 18 as age of majority Some establish 16 or 17, and one (Wyoming) establishes 19 Most states define “age” as the age at which offense was committed
Several states define “age” as the age at apprehension
Gathering Data on Delinquency Official Statistics And Unofficial Information
The State of America’s Children 50% of preschoolers has a mother in the labor force. 50% will live in a single-parent household. 50% will never complete a single year of college. 33% will be born to unmarried parents.
33% will be poor at some point in childhood.
The State of America’s Children 20% will be born to a mother who did not finish high school. 1 in 8 will never graduate from high school. 1 in 138 will die before their first birthday.
1 in 910 will be killed by guns before the age of 20.
Significant Risk Factors
Inadequate educational opportunity
History of Childhood 17 th and 18 th century England
Change in family structure
Who is a Juvenile Delinquent? Example: NY maximum age is 15 < 7—presumed unable to form intent
7-14—state had burden to prove capable of forming intent
Jurisdiction The juvenile court has jurisdiction over delinquency as defined by the laws of each state What acts are handled by the court?
What ages are handled by the court?
Legal Responsibility of Juveniles Criminal law v. civil law
Why are juveniles generally punished less than adults?
Juvenile Arrests for Murder
Adult v. Juvenile Systems
Categories of Delinquency Delinquency —acts that would be crimes if committed by adult
Status Offense —acts that are only illegal for juveniles
Status Offenses Half the states classify status offenders as delinquents. The other half uses other categories.
New York— PINS —person in need of supervision
Methods of Getting Statistics
Official Reports Uniform Crime Reports (FBI) Juvenile Court Statistics (OJJDP)
Juvenile Correction Statistics
Juvenile Crime Trends
Peak ages for juvenile crime
National Crime Victimization Survey
Self-Reported Delinquent Activity—2000 Category One offense > 1 offense Total Serious fgt. 7 5 12 Gang fight 11 9 20 Hurt some-one badly 7 5 12 Stole < $50 12 18 30 B & E 10 12 22 Dam. school property 7 6 13
What crime(s) do females commit the most of?
Delinquency Rates by Gender 1990-2000 MALE FEMALE Arrests < 3% >25% Serious/Violent Crime Arrests <23% >28%
Race What do the official statistics say?
Explanations of differences rates
Wolfgang’s Birth Cohort Study
Juvenile Victimization 85—87% of juveniles are victims of violent offenses or theft 2X as likely as adults to be victim of serious violent crime Most violent crime by juveniles is against juveniles
> 70% of victims of sex offenses are juveniles
The growth in the U.S. juvenile population (ages 0 through 17) between 2000 and 2020 will be far greater for Hispanic (58 percent) and Asian (59 percent) juveniles than for Native American (16 percent), black (9 percent), or white (7 percent) juveniles.
The proportion of children under age 18 living in two-parent households declined between 1970 and 2002, regardless of race
The proportion of juvenile victimizations occurring outdoors remained relatively constant between 3 and 10 p.m.
The growth and decline in violent crime by juveniles between 1980 and 2003 are documented by both victim reports and arrests
Between 1994 and 2002, the number of murders involving a juvenile offender fell 65%, to its lowest level since 1984
Statistics 2000—juveniles accounted for: 20% of all violent crime arrests
What category of crime are juveniles most often arrested for?
Role of the Police in Dealing with Juvenile Offenders
Role of Police (cont’d) “ Sight and sound” separation
Abused and neglected children
80-85% of juvenile contacts handled informally
Official/Unofficial Action: The Officer’s Choice Prior contacts with police
Where encounter took place
Least and Most Likely to be Handled Officially Little or no prior police contact
Males with delinquent peers
Research on Timing of Juvenile Crime
½ of all violent juvenile crime occurs when?
OJJDP Annual Report 2006 Key findings in the report include: One of every four violent crime victims known to law enforcement is a juvenile, and most of these victims are female. About one-third of juvenile violent crime victims known to law enforcement are under age 12. Self-reports by juvenile offenders show that two-thirds of youth who report committing a crime at ages 16 or 17 do not report committing a crime at ages 18 and 19. Unlike violent crimes, the timing of shoplifting by juveniles is similar on both school days and non-school days; however, the peak times are still between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
After many years of increases, the juvenile custody population declined in 2001 and again in 2003. The juvenile violent crime arrest rate in 2003 was below the levels of the 1980s.
Reviewing Data is Easy Copyright 2006 National Center for Juvenile Justice 3700 S. Water Street, Suite 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15203-2363 Suggested Citation: Snyder, Howard N., and Sickmund, Melissa. 2006. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. More information is available online. The full report, report chapters, and data files for the graphs can be downloaded from http://ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ojstatbb/nr2006/index.html Additional statistics are available from OJJDP's Statistical Briefing Book, located at: http://ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ojstatbb/index.html
Historical View of Female Delinquency Criminology theories explain male behavior, not human behavior Crime as a result of biological influences
Invisibility in corrections
Gender Differences and Delinquency
“ Masculine” v. “Feminine” traits
Statistics Females arrested up 25%, but males down 3% Female arrests 1967 and today
Supported by self-report data
Early Socialization Explanations View of female delinquents Male delinquency linked to personal characteristics
Female delinquency linked to broken/disrupted homes
Modern Socialization Views
Family relations key for girls
Liberal Feminist Views Economic conditions and sex role differences
Support for liberal feminism
Juvenile Justice System Girls as “sexual deviants” Double-standard continued
“ Good girl” v. “wayward girl”
History and Development of the Juvenile Court Issues of Due Process Issues of Legislative Changes
Development of Juvenile Law and Procedure
Not constitutionally guaranteed
Early Juvenile Law Philosophy of juvenile court Saving or punishing the child? 1899-1964— NO Supreme Court cases that deal with Juvenile offenders
Change in philosophy in the supreme court because of consistent application of Parens Patriae
Kent v. US (1966) The first ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that closely examined the operation of the juvenile courts was Kent v. United States (1966).
The court held that due process protections were necessary when juveniles were transferred to criminal court.
The Legal Reform Years: In re Gault (1967) In the landmark case, In re Gault (1967), the U.S. Supreme Court gave juveniles a number of due process protections: The right against self-incrimination A right to adequate notice of charges against them continued…
A right to confront and to cross-examine their accusers
In re Gault (1967) Due process at adjudicatory hearing? Confront and cross-examine
MOST IMPORTANT U.S. Supreme Court case on juvenile procedure
The Legal Reform Years: The Juvenile Court After Gault The court’s ruling in Gault and other cases not only increased procedural formality in juvenile court cases, but also shifted the traditional focus from the “whole child” to the child’s act. From there, it was a short step to offense-based sentencing and punitive orientation.
The Legal Reform Years: The Juvenile Court After Gault Juvenile court procedures are still characterized by an informality that most people would find unacceptable if it were applied to adults in criminal court.
In re Winship (1970) Beyond a reasonable doubt applies Until the court’s ruling In re Winship (1970), the standard of proof typically employed at the adjudication stage of the juvenile justice process was a preponderance of evidence.
In Winship , the court held that charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt where there is a possibility that a youth could be confined in a locked facility.
McKeiver v. Pennsylvania (1971) Not all legal and due process rights are given to children and youth
There are unique characteristics and societal or community interests
Waiver of Rights
Totality of the circumstances
Waiver of Rights (cont’d)
Method and length of interrogation
Adult/Juvenile Comparison ADULTS JUVENILES Comprehension of Miranda rights 23% --inadequate understanding 55% --inadequate understanding Understanding the Words 37% --did not understand words 63% --did not understand words Right to Counsel 15% --did not understand right 45% --did not understand right Knowing Extent of Rights -- 62% --thought punished if silent
Waiver to Adult Court 1985-1994—waivers increased 71%
Still rare— <1% of all juvenile cases
Reasons for Waiver Removes juveniles charged with heinous, violent crimes
Removes chronic offenders
Judicial Waiver Prosecutor files petition to waive
Factors the court will consider
Legislative Waiver Bypasses juvenile court altogether
“ Once an adult, always an adult”
Prosecutor can file charges in either juvenile or adult court
Ohio System of Waiver General rule—if < 16, not criminally responsible for conduct
Commits act that would be crime if committed by adult
Ohio System of Waiver Exceptions ( felonies only) 14 & 15 year olds—criminally responsible for following offenses Murder 2 nd , Kidnapping 1 st , Manslaughter 1st Arson 1 st , Rape and sodomy 1 st
Criminal possession of loaded firearm on school grounds
Trends in Waiver Law Lowering age can be tried as adult More offenses that can be tried in adult court
Legislative and prosecutorial waiver statutes increasing
Send to Adult Prisons for Serious Property Crimes STRONGLY AGREE 6% SOMEWHAT AGREE 9% NEITHER AGREE NOR DISAGREE 2% SOMEWHAT DISAGREE 22% STRONGLY DISAGREE 61%
Send to Adult Prisons for Selling Large Amount of Drugs STRONGLY AGREE 14% SOMEWHAT AGREE 17% NEITHER AGREE OR DISAGREE 2% SOMEWHAT DISAGREE 22% STRONGLY DISAGREE 46%
Send to Adult Prisons for Serious Violent Crimes STRONGLY AGREE 23% SOMEWHAT AGREE 21% NEITHER AGREE OR DISAGREE 3% SOMEWHAT DISAGREE 22% STRONGLY DISAGREE 34%
Blended Sentencing Keep in juvenile court and get juvenile sanctions OR Waive to adult court and get adult penalties Serious and violent juvenile offenders
Juvenile or adult sanctions regardless of where case is processed
Group Presentations What do we learn from the media?
Explanations for Delinquency A Brief Introduction to Sociological Theory
Theory Without Panic! A simple definition of theory: Theories are nothing more than explanations for how 2 or more phenomena are related to each other. We all apply theories every day For example, we explain “getting wet” by the falling rain Scientific theory must be falsifiable : This means that it must be stated in such a way that it can be tested with empirical evidence; This evidence provides a litmus test--it either supports the theory or it fails to support the theory
If supported, or verified , the theory gains credibility; if not supported, or falsified , the theory must be revised.
What Causes Delinquency? What propels youths to commit delinquency? Complex interplay of a variety of biological, genetic, and environmental factors Further complicated by various reactions to environmental factors Why do only a few individuals who experience the same environments as many others actually commit crime?
Criminological theories provide a scientific way to approach and understand why people commit crime
Criminological Paradigms Classical School Theories Focus on individual free will and our ability to make choices as the central explanation for committing delinquency/crime Embraces determinism and scientific method: Recognizes the role of forces that individuals cannot control or may not be aware of on crime and the role of science to discover what these factors are
The positive school has 3 basic approaches: biological, psychological, and sociological
Theories Within Classical School Certainty, severity, and celerity Decision to commit crime involves weighing the costs and benefits associated with that crime Focuses on the opportunity for crime to occur
Interaction of the following: suitable targets, absence of capable guardians, and presence of motivated offenders
Positive School—Biological Theories Genetic transmission of criminal tendencies
Developmental Theory (Biosocial Theories)
Positive School—Psychological Theories Personality types--Somatotypes Psychodynamic Theory (Freud & psychic phenomenon) Underdeveloped/Overdeveloped Superego Basis for Antisocial Personalities & Impulsivity Behavioral Theory (Skinner & measurable events)
Used as basis for Social Learning Theory
Positive School—Sociological Theories Social Structure Theories
Differential Association/Learning Theory
What Do We Know About Offenders? Small group of offenders (6-25%) are responsible for majority of crime There is a pattern of offending that ultimately defines subgroups of offenders Serious: Commit serious property crime Violent: Commit serious violent crime Chronic: Commit 4 or more offenses of any type Serious, Violent, Chronic Offenders Patterns of offending in childhood and adolescence are related to adulthood offending
Patterns of offending can be identified through the identification of behaviors related to offending pathways
Developmental & Life Course Theories The Life-Course Perspective Human development viewed across the life span Childhood, adolescent and adult experiences are continuous process of change Individuals progress within culturally defined roles and social transitions that are age-graded Trajectories or pathways=the avenue of development over time; long-term patterns of development in social institutions (e.g., educational career) Transitions=short-term changes in social roles within long-term trajectories (e.g., divorce) Developmental theories try to account for offender careers and their relationship with age
This area or research began in criminology during the late 1980s and began to grow over the 1990s
Life Trajectories Life-course is a series of interlocking trajectories Impact all domains of life Short-term transitions (or life events) interrupt Transitions can be consistent or disruptive “ Off-age” transitions (e.g., teenage pregnancy) can produce disorder and change the direction of a trajectory Key: How individuals adapt to changes Person A may start a life of crime while person B doesn’t get involved in crime
Attempts to explain the onset, escalation, de-escalation, and desistence in offending careers
Various factors influence experience and change: individual factors, family factors, school factors, peer groups, and community factors Research in this are requires longitudinal research and within-individual changes Previous research often relied on cross-sectional studies Life Trajectories
Previous research largely defined by between-group differences
Different Theories Many developmental/life course theories have been developed, only three will be highlighted for this class: Sampson & Laub’s Age-Graded Theory
Gottfredson & Hirschi’s General Theory of Crime
Moffitt’s Developmental Theory Close inspection of crime rate trends over the life-course indicate that there are two types of offenders: Adolescent limited offenders: antisocial behavior is temporary and situational Life-course persistent offenders: antisocial behavior is permanent and stable
Timing and duration of offending is critical aspect between the types of offenders—stable v. unstable antisocial behavior
Defining the Life-Course Persistent Offender Underlying trait that begins at very early age and continues throughout life and underlies a variety of problem behaviors Age 4: biting and hitting Age 10: Truancy and shoplifting Age 16: Sell drugs/steal cars Age 30: Fraud and child abuse
Persistence of other problem behaviors throughout life: Drug addiction, homelessness, unstable relationships, domestic violence, and mental illness
Factors Related to Life Course Persistence Difference exists in individual differences in neuropsychological functions of infant nervous system What can cause these differences to occur? Disruption in fetal brain development/brain injury Lack of stimulation and affection
Results in neuropsychological deficits (temperament, behavior development, and cognitive abilities)
LCP Interaction in Environment Reactive interaction-react to environment with their style Proactive interaction-select or create environment to support style (e.g., selecting similar mate) Cumulative consequences-underlying trait sets downhill path in motion Contemporary consequences-impact of trait on environment Why do LCP fail to desist in their offending? Fail to learn conventional prosocial alternatives due to rejection and lack of opportunities
Become ensnared in deviant lifestyle
Intervention Underlying trait underlies deficiencies in temperament, developmental milestones, and cognitive abilities Interaction with environment creates the antisocial personality and is fixed (according to Moffitt) before 18 years old
Therefore, treatment is difficult after this point
Adolescent Limited Statistically, it is rare for individual to refrain from crime during adolescence The defining characteristic for most adolescents, however, is the lack of consistency in their offending Why do a few not get involved in delinquency during adolescence? No maturity gap: Late puberty or access to opportunities
Personal characteristics that exclude from networks Few opportunities for mimicking
Explaining AL Behavior Motivation: Duration of adolescence has lengthened, forcing those in the 13-18 age group to delay their entry into adulthood Social mimicry: When one species adopts the social behavior of more successful species to obtain access to a valuable resource Valuable resource=Mature status and the power and privilege that comes with it LCP become influential in the peer structure—delinquency that was stigmatizing as a child is not normative group behavior because it provides an avenue to the valuable resource
Reinforcement: The negative consequences that result from delinquency “fit” with need and desire to rebel
Explaining AL Desistence At the end of adolescence, motivation wanes because of the change in circumstance—entry into adulthood Exempt from cumulative and contemporary continuity, so opportunities and acceptance is not an issue Delinquency for these adolescents is considered normative rather than abnormal
Best adjusted adolescents appear to be those who have experimented and been responded to with consistent and reasonable discipline
Sampson & Laub’s Age-Graded Theory Main proposition=an individual’s propensity to offend is dependent upon involvement in conventional activities Informal social controls are the main focus of this theory Although trajectories are influenced by early experiences, Sampson & Laub believe that social factors (specifically informal controls) can modify trajectories, reducing offending in adulthood—criminality is not solely defined by traits rooted in childhood “ Turning points”=the mechanisms that alter the life course, changing a risk pathway to a more adaptive one Life-course development is dynamic regardless of age
The role of transitions within life trajectories generates turning points or changes in one’s pathway
Influencing Factors Childhood: Family dynamics including erratic/harsh discipline, low levels of supervision, parental rejection Adolescence: Association with delinquent peer groups, lack of attachment to school, involvement in the juvenile justice system
Young adulthood: Labor markets, marriage, prison, military
A General Theory of Crime Low self-control is ultimately the cause of criminality Low self-control results from parents failing to: Recognizing problem behavior Punishing problem behavior properly People with low self-control will constantly be involved in delinquency and other problem behaviors
Low self-control becomes “locked” for individuals at a very young age (8 or 9 years old)
Developmental Pathways for Females Requires attention to the gender-specific patterns in offender careers over the life course (e.g., victimization) Although factors influencing offending may be similar across gender, the intensity and role of these factors may differ Kempf-Leonard suggests the following “stepping stones” for females 1 st Stepping Stone: Child Abuse 2 nd Stepping Stone: Mental health problems 3 rd Stepping Stone: Running away 4 th Stepping Stone: Youth gang involvement
5 th Stepping Stone: Juvenile justice involvement & experiences
In sum… Early intervention is needed to most effectively altering offending pathways
Identification of persistent offenders is difficult and subject to inaccuracies because a small proportion of individuals who exhibit signs of offending careers actually become chronic offenders
INDIVIDUAL VIEWS OF DELINQUENCY Biology Rational Choice Modern Individualism
Categories of Theories
Deterrence General v. specific deterrence
What does the evidence show?
Lombroso’s Atavism Theory
Modern Biosocial Theories Minimal Brain Dysfunction Traits that heighten risk of delinquency Schoenthaler research in public schools
Schoenthaler study of incarcerated juveniles
Modern Biosocial Theories Connection to juvenile delinquency
What’s the connection with juvenile delinquency?
% Adopted Juveniles with Criminal Record Biological and adoptive parents NO CRIMINAL RECORD 13.5% BIOLOGICAL parents had criminal record 20% ADOPTIVE parents had criminal record 15% Biological and adoptive parents BOTH HAD CRIMINAL RECORDS 25%
Violence in TV, video and the movies
Cognitive Theory Kohlberg’s moral development theory Interpersonal concordance Universal ethical principles
Which stages are delinquents stuck at?
Antisocial Personality Disorder
**Cannot assume the role of another
Explanations of Female Violence
Lombroso’s masculinity hypothesis
Social Theories of Delinquency
Structural Explanations for Delinquency
Defining Structural Theories Characteristic features of structural theories Focus on rates of crime rather than why individuals commit crime Crime rates are explained in terms of the structural features of society
Two broad types of structural theories
Structural Theories I: Strain Theory
Strain Theory Delinquency Economic Inequality
Historical Foundation of Strain Theory The Legacy of Emile Durkheim
Two themes dominate Durkheim’s work on crime
Robert Merton Robert King Merton is one of the most influential sociologists in the field of criminology At age 27, (1938) he wrote a definitive article entitled “ Social Structure and Anomie”
This article still serves as an anchor in our understanding of delinquency
Social Structure and Anomie Merton’s theory of “anomie” stressed two structural conditions: The interaction of these conditions produce five adaptive responses:
Strain—Modes of Adaption Conformity Accepts cultural goal Accepts institution Highly unlikely JD Ritualism Rejects cultural goal Accepts institution Unlikely JD Innovation Accepts cultural goal Rejects institution Most likely JD Retreatism Rejects cultural goal Rejects institution Likely JD Rebellion Rejects cultural goal Rejects institution Likely JD
Differential Opportunity Theory This theory was developed by Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin Agree with Merton that not everyone has equal access to social rewards, producing strain However, suggest that there is also an “illegitimate” opportunity structure with differential opportunities there as well. Lloyd Ohlin
Failure to succeed in either the legitimate and illegitimate opportunity structure results in “double failure.”
Differential Opportunity’s Three Subcultural Responses Occurs in neighborhoods where there are adult criminal role models Here, the delinquent youth succeeds in the illegitimate opportunity structure Adult role models are not available for successful crime Delinquent youth becomes angry and engages in violent crime Adult role models are not available for successful crime
Rather than angry retaliation, the youth withdraws or retreats, typically into a world of drug use.
Cohen’s Subcultural Strain Theory Cohen suggests that one of the central problems in life is conforming to social expectations. Since these expectations are largely determined by the middle class, Cohen calls these “middle class measuring rods.” The lower class has a much more difficult time in conformity than the middle class. For lower class youth, the context for this difficulty is typically the school. Lower class youth are confronted by “status frustration,” and turn to other youth for solutions.
For Cohen, this is the genesis of the delinquent gang.
Cohen’s Adaptive Responses to Status Frustration Youth psychologically disengages from MC goals and accepts more humble goals This is the most common lower class response Lower class youth accepts the MC challenge and competes for MC goals Involves a rupture in his relationship with LC friends, a cost Delinquent Subculture Response Involves a direct repudiation of MC values in the form of delinquency
Characteristics of the delinquent subculture
Structural Theories II: Cultural Deviance Theories
Cultural Deviance Theories Cultural Orientation Delinquency
Historical Foundation of Cultural Deviance Theories Intellectual roots of most cultural deviance theories are at the University of Chicago--hence called the “Chicago School.” This school stressed the need for empirical study of the issue of crime and delinquency Chicago was a natural laboratory to be doing these studies: It was a major urban center, drawing immigrants from all walks of life; Many people were threatened by the changes that were going on in cities like Chicago It was popularly believed that foreign and minority immigrants were inferior Robert Park A founder of the “ Chicago School”
Cultural deviance theory emerged as a way to explain rising crime rates in the context of this rapidly changing environment
Social Disorganization Theory The Park-Burgess roots--concentric zone theory Zone in transition--the geographical center of crime this was also an area of physical deterioration and social disorganization social disorganization was measured by such things as homelessness, mental illness, crime and other pathologies The relationship between social disorganization and delinquency Social Disorganization Lack of Supervision Delinquency/Gangs
Moreover, delinquent traditions are passed on from generation to generation through delinquent gangs
Lower Class Focal Values Walter Miller suggests that delinquency results, not from a disorganized lower class, but from a united social class with their own distinctive values . The values, or “focal concerns” of lower class youth are but extensions of the focal concerns of adults in these communities.
6 focal concerns of the lower class:
Social Process Theories for Delinquency
Historical Background These theories reached their zenith in the 1960’s Self-report studies were revealing that crime was not limited to lower class
It became necessary to develop a theory that could account for middle class crime as well.
General Assumptions Begin with the assumption that anyone is capable of committing a crime. Argue that delinquency can be explained by the nature of socialization experiences of individuals Hence, they tend to focus on the immediate social milieu of the individual--e.g., family, peer group, etc.
As such they focus on the process of becoming delinquent
Types of Social Process Theories
Two broad types of process theories:
Social Process Theories I: Social Learning Theories
Social Learning Theories Children are not born with a tendency to want to do bad Delinquency is a function of learning the norms, values and behaviors associated with delinquency
Without opportunities to learn the values and techniques associated with delinquency, individuals would not become delinquent
Differential Association Theory Developed by Edwin Sutherland Criminal behavior is learned in interaction with other persons Principle part of learning takes place in intimate personal groups Learning includes: techniques of committing the crime and the drives, values and motives Direction of drives and motives determined by relative “definitions” (influences) favorable or unfavorable to law violation One becomes delinquent because of excess definitions favorable to violating the law Differential associations vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity. Edwin Sutherland
Process of learning delinquency involves same process as any other learning
Differential Reinforcement Theory Represents a synthesis between differential association and operant conditioning Behavior is reinforced with positive rewards Rewards are given and evaluated in interaction with significant others Ron Akers
Hence, the kinds of behavior that are reinforced depend on one’s differential associations
Drift and Neutralization Theory Delinquents do not strictly adhere to delinquent cultural values, but are affected by both criminal and conventional values Hence, delinquents find themselves in “drift” between the two sets of values Subculture of delinquency provides the delinquent with a vocabulary to neutralize the demands of conventional society Techniques of Neutralization Condemnation of condemner Gresham Sykes
Appeal to higher loyalties
Social Process Theories II: Social Control Theories
General Assumptions Human beings are predisposed toward maximizing self-interest Hence, everyone has the capacity to commit crime Most people don’t commit crime because of constraining influences
Hence, what is to be explained is not “Why do some people engage in delinquency?” but “Why do most people not engage in delinquency?”
Containment Theory Developed by Walter Reckless “ Pressures” and “pulls” toward delinquency are everywhere Counteracting these pressures and pulls are “containments” of which there are two types: outer containments-- structural buffers, such as intact family, positive discipline, etc. inner containments-- internalized values, high frustration tolerance, etc. Walter Reckless
Reckless identified a positive self concept as the critical containment insulating against delinquency.
Social Bond Theory Developed by Travis Hirschi Assumes that all people have the capacity to be delinquent Preventing most people from engaging in delinquency is a “bonding” to conventional society
Hirschi identifies 4 elements to the social bond (next slide)
The Social Bond
Societal Reaction Theories for Delinquency
Overview of Societal Reaction Theory Central focus of societal reaction theory is society’s reaction to particular behaviors
Two broad streams of societal reaction theory
Historical Context of Societal Reaction Theory The recent emergence of labeling and modern conflict theory occurred in the tumult of the 1960’s and 1970’s
During this time many social institutions were being challenged, and assumptions questioned
Societal Reaction Theory Labeling Theory
Broad Mosaic of Labeling Theory
Labeling theory is a composite of the work of many theorists, including:
Central Questions of Labeling Theory 1. Why are certain behaviors defined as delinquent? 2. Why are certain individuals labeled delinquent?
3. What is the effect of the label?
Why are certain behaviors defined as delinquent? This question is largely addressed by Howard Becker Assumes that behaviors are not intrinsically delinquent Some behaviors are defined as delinquent Howard Becker
This is done through a process called moral entrepreneurship.
Why are certain individuals labeled delinquent? William Chambliss, among others address this question Chambliss suggests 3 crucial factors in the labeling of individuals: Visibility of delinquency Personal disposition of offender William Chambliss
Mobilization of community bias
What is the effect of the label? Erving Goffman and Edwin Lemert, among others, have addressed this question primary vs. secondary deviance (Lemert) Erving Goffman Edwin Lemert
dramatization of evil (Tannenbaum)
Societal Reaction Theory: Conflict Theory
The Marxist Foundation Economic Infrastructure Law Family Religion Education Science
The Infrastructure and the Superstructure
Marxist Foundation (cont.) The composition of the economic infrastructure Importance of the relations of production Own the means of production (bourgeoisie) Work for owners of production (proletariat)
These two classes in continual conflict
Marx and Crime Marx said very little about crime The criminal was a member of a third marginal class Marx called the “lumpenproletariat” Marx’s contribution is tied to his analysis of law Law is part of the “superstructure” of society As such, it is controlled by the economic elite Its content reflects ruling class interests
It is therefore the poor who will be victimized by law
Early Marxist Criminologists Wrote The Condition of the Working Class in England Suggests that crime is a result of demoralization of proletariat caused by alienation from means of production Wrote Criminality and Economic Conditions Capitalism encourages “egoism”, which in turn encourages crime. Frederick Engels
Four types of crime encouraged by capitalism:
Themes of Modern Conflict Theorists Modern conflict theorists see the law as an instrument of the ruling class to serve their interests Demystification--exposing hidden power relationships in society
Social Class and Delinquency Reconsidered
Social Correlates of Delinquency Gender
Our Knowledge Gap on Gender and Delinquency It is commonly believed that girls engage primarily in status offenses; boys in more serious delinquent offenses Issue of female delinquency did not receive much scholarly attention until the 1960’s
Most of the classical theories, therefore, are based on observations of male delinquency and may not be as appropriate to females
Nature and Extent of Male and Female Delinquency
Mr. Streetman Jason 1102 - 280 Bypass Phenix City AL 36867 Charles Bradshaw Fall, 1999 Nature and Extent of Male and Female Delinquency
Nature and Extent of Male and Female Delinquency
Explaining Female (vs. male) Delinquency Two Broad Categories of Explanations Center on intrinsic biological and mental traits attributed to being “female” or “male” Sociological Explanations
Focus on different social experiences boys and girls
“ Trait” Explanations for Female Delinquency Lombroso-- The Female Offender Women are lower on the evolutionary scale Pollack-- The Criminality of Women Onset of criminality linked to menstruation, pregnancy and menopause Chivalry Hypothesis accounts for lower rates of female delinquency Lack of penis unconscious sign of punishment, resulting in inferiority complex Failure to resolve penis envy might result in crime Gluecks-- Precocious Sexuality
Early sexual experimentation by girls results in later delinquency
Sociological Explanations for Female Delinquency Differential Supervision of boys and girls Quality of parental relations Hagan’s “power-control” theory
Societal Reaction explanations
Changing Gender Patterns Over the past 30 years, the gender gap in delinquency has been gradually converging male arrest rate increased by 19%, while female rate increased by 31% male arrest rate for serious violent crime increased by 23%, while female rate increased by 48%
Self-report data also suggesting that females are engaging in more typically “male” offenses
Explaining Changing Gender Patterns Freda Adler-- Sisters in Crime focus on impact of women’s liberation Rita Simon-- The Contemporary Woman and Crime focus on changing sex roles focus on changing school influences
Differential societal reaction
Social Correlates of Delinquency The Family
Why Look at the Family as a Causal Context for Delinquency? History of childhood and delinquency reveals that the family has been charged with primary responsibility for socialization of children It is within the context of the family that primary relations are first formed Basic values are first formed here
We have also seen that historical forces in America disrupted family life
Family Variables Linked to Delinquency: The Broken Home I Variable interest in the broken family as a cause of delinquency Found that broken home had a profound effect Seemed to affect girls more than boys Seemed to affect whites more than other ethnic groups Seemed to affect the affluent more than poor
Homes broken by divorce more devastating than homes broken by death
Family Variables Linked to Delinquency: The Broken Home II The broken home reconsidered More recent studies have been inconclusive Many of early studies were conducted among arrestees and in correctional institutions--possible bias in samples Self-report studies suggest a less clear-cut relationship Some concluding thoughts: Divorce does seem to be more correlated than death Broken home probably affects status offenses more than serious delinquency Remarriage does not mitigate effect of divorce on youth Continued contact with non-custodial parent does not mitigate Little evidence that behavior of children in broken homes improves over time
Post-divorce conflict related to child maladjustment
Family Variables Linked to Delinquency: Family Conflict Intra-family conflict and discord have long been associated with delinquency Various factors operative: Difficult to establish whether family conflict causes childhood maladies or vice versa Relative consequences of the broken home vs. family discord Recent review of literature suggests that both situations are deleterious
Children of divorced parents probably fare better than children of high-conflict families
Family Variables Linked to Delinquency: Parental Rejection Generally believed that children need warm, supportive relationships to thrive Most studies have used boys in their samples Early studies suggested that rejection by either mother or father was related to delinquency
Joan McCord’s research finds that mother’s rejection is more significant in early years; father’s in later years
Family Variables Linked to Delinquency: Discipline Gluecks-- found that lax or erratic discipline was most associated with delinquency Nye-- found that very erratic, strict, or very permissive discipline most associated with delinquency.
Strauss-- found that physical punishment tends to be more associated with delinquency.
Family Variables Linked to Delinquency: Family Role Models Gluecks-- find discipline ineffective when parental behavior is inconsistent Hirschi-- found that even criminal parents espouse conventional values. Intimacy between parents more important than role modeling Laub and Sampson-- find that parental deviance related to chronic delinquency
Rowe and Gulley-- find that siblings have an impact on delinquency if relationship is intimate
Family Variables Linked to Delinquency: Family Size Some evidence suggests that larger families may be productive of delinquency suggested that this may be due to a “dilution of resources.” Relationship is usually seen as more indirect resource dilution often leads to educational underachievement
family size also related to social class
A Special Case: The Abusive Family Defining child abuse and neglect: Abuse-- historically defined as “any non-accidental physical injury inflicted on a child by a parent…” has come to be used more generically to include neglect as well
Neglect-- more passive, referring to the deprivations that children suffer at hands of parents or guardians. Three broad types:
Extent of Child Abuse: Reported Cases All states have laws for certain professionals to report child abuse, but these cases represent only a tip of the iceberg Leading organization in reporting is the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse (NCPCA) Reported 3.1 million cases in 1995 (up 5% from 1994, and up 50% from 1985) 26% of these were physical abuse 3% emotional maltreatment
NCPCA estimates about 1,200 children killed each year because of abuse
Extent of Child Abuse: Unreported Cases Research by Murray Strauss in 1980: between 1.4 and 1.9 million children abused annually the average number of assaults for each child was 10.5 (median 4.5)
Estimates are that as many as 1 in 10 boys and 1 in 3 girls have been sexually abused
The Abused and the Abusers Most likely to be abused: Infants (especially premature infants) Most likely to abuse (in order)
What Causes Child Abuse? Adults who have been abused themselves Social isolation and alienation This has been controversial, though most experts agree that there is a higher incidence in the lower class
Perhaps due to financial stress
Relationship between Child Abuse and Delinquency Abuse provides a role model for aggression Abuse leaves one more vulnerable to stress Studies of incarcerated delinquents reveal that a substantial majority have been abused in some way as children Problem with these studies is that they do not tell us about the known population of abused children and the % of them who are delinquents Abuse Modeling of Aggression Vulnerability to Stress Delinquency
Also, it may be that child abused is caused by the delinquency!
Cohort Studies on Abuse and Delinquency This method follows up cohorts of children who have been abused and compares their delinquency to non-abused youth A major study by Cathy Widom found that 27% of abused youth (compared with 17% of non-abused youth) later had criminal records Certain categories more affected by abuse than others; older, black males most affected Abuse increases likelihood of juvenile arrest by 53% Abuse increases likelihood of adult arrest by 38%
In a follow-up, Widom found greater likelihood of persistent offending over time by abused children
Social Correlates of Delinquency The School
Significance of the School in the Study of Delinquency Compulsory school attendance means that all children spend significant time in school Hence, school is playing an increasing role in the socialization of children
The time spent in school also means that children are spending significant time with peer groups
The School and Delinquency: Proposed Effects Two contradictory predictions about the role of the school in delinquency: The school causes delinquency School experiences are frustrating, especially to underachievers and others who don’t fit in Hence, the more time spent in school, the more frustration, and the more delinquency The school prevents delinquency Here, the argument is that the school teaches children proper values, monopolizes their time, and builds positive relationships School Attendance Frustration Delinquency School Attendance Positive Values, Relationships Less Delinquency
Hence, spending time in school should reduce the delinquency
Theoretical Basis for Positions Each of these positions is grounded in two theoretical perspectives examined earlier: School produces delinquency:
School prevents delinquency
Testing the Theories: Elliot Study Rate of delinquency greater for boys while in school than out of school Delinquents who drop out have higher rate while in school than while out Data gathered from 10th-12th grade “ Graduates” =those who graduated or were in school entire time “ Dropouts” =those who left school in the study period Findings
Delinquency measured by official contact
Testing the Theories: Thornberry et al. Study Hypotheses Strain Theory: Criminal behavior of dropouts should decline more sharply than that of graduates after leaving school, and rates for dropouts should converge quickly with those of graduates Control Theory: Natural decline during post-high school years should be more gradual for dropouts than graduates, and will not converge with decline for graduates Method Sample: 10% sample of Philadelphia Birth Cohort Study (N=567 boys) Variables: Dropping Out, Criminal Involvement (arrests), Race, Father’s Occupation, Marital Status, Employment Status
Testing the Theories: Thornberry et al. Study Findings
Social Correlates of Delinquency Social Class
Traditional Understanding Lower class is responsible for most crime and delinquency This view comes from several sources: Selective focus on “crime in the streets” (these are crimes more characteristic of lower class When MC commits these crimes, almost always presented as “the exception” (e.g., Columbine shooting) Police surveillance more close in lower class areas
Early empirical studies which focused on lower class
Some Early Self-report Evidence: Individual Social Class Study by Empey and Erikson Self-report data from 180 males 15-17 years old 50 HS boys never in court (non-delinquents) 50 HS boys once in court (one-timers) Social class (father’s occupation)
Delinquency--22 separate offenses; asked if (1) ever committed; (2) how often committed; (3) ever caught; (4) how often caught
Study by Empey and Erikson (cont.) Overall Findings
Study by Empey and Erikson (cont.) Findings for Specific Offenses
Some Early Self-report Evidence: Community Social Class Compares delinquency rates across communities with social class characteristics Also compares between social classes within the same community Will be differences in delinquency across communities of different social class composition Will be differences in delinquency among similar social classes in different communities Clark and Wenninger Study
Will not be differences across social classes in the same community
Clark and Wenninger Study (cont.) 1154 children in grades 6-12 were given anonymous questionnaires Represented 4 different kinds of communities: Rural farm --communities where farming was primary occupation. Considered working class Lower Urban- -located in inner city Chicago Industrial City -- blue collar community Upper Urban --wealthy suburb of Chicago All respondents were asked if they had committed any or all of a list of 38 specific offenses; and how many times they had committed that offense Industrial City Lower Urban Similar Delinquency Patterns Upper Urban Rural Farm Different Delinquency Patterns
Offenses were then compared across the cities, and across social classes within each city.
Some Early Self-report Evidence: Rising Affluence Observed that delinquency rates were increasing just as rapidly in affluent societies as in poor societies. Sought to explain this phenomenon Used as indicator of affluence: # of radios/100 population Ranked countries from most to least affluent (USA most, Pakistan, least) Ranked % increase in affluence from 1954 to 1964
Measured delinquency through this time
Study by Jackson Toby (cont.) rising affluence is directly associated with delinquency (linked with rising expectations) rising affluence results in less parental control (because of more women in the labor force
as a mitigating factor, rising affluence results in greater education, which is linked with lower levels of delinquency
Reassessing Social Class and Delinquency I: Criticisms of Prior Research Problems with measures of delinquency Much of early self-report studies used trivial offenses in addition to more serious offenses. These sorts of offenses will be disbributed more evenly Prevalence rather than incidence figures were used in early studies Prevalence refers to how many people have ever engaged in delinquency Incidence refers to the number of acts committed Early studies focused on delinquency over an entire lifetime Problems with measures of social class Most studies has been measured with “status attainment” variables--parent’s occupation, education, etc.
Alternative measures, such as unemployment or welfare status, are more likely to show a relationship between social class and delinquency
Reassessing Social Class and Delinquency II: Recent Studies Used a portion of the National Youth Study (from Seattle) Asked respondents how many times (incidence) they had committed a delinquent act Compared relationship between social class and delinquency in different communities Weak associations between social class and delinquency, regardless how either of these variables are measured (strongest associations found when using parents education as measure of SC Joseph Weis Study
Neighborhood comparisons did not affect social class-delinquency relationship.
Social Correlates and Delinquency Juvenile Gangs
History of Gangs in America American society has a long history of violent gang activity Vigilante groups on the frontier
“ Youth” gangs also have a long history, though not always equated with delinquency
Defining “Gang” Problem with lack of consistent definition Erikson and Jensen’s implied definition: 2 or more youth engaged in delinquent behavior Walter Miller’s extended definition Conducted interviews with 445 staff members in over 160 youth service agencies in 24 major cities Asked them, “What is your conception of a gang?”
On bases of these responses, developed definition and list of key characteristics (see next slide)
Miller’s Characteristics and Definition of a Gang Identification with a territory Engaging in illegal activity Definition (incorporating above):
“ A youth gang is a self-formed association of peers bound together by mutual interests, with identifiable leadership, well developed lines of authority, and other organizational features, who act in concert to achieve a specific purpose or purposes which generally include the conduct of illegal activity and control over a particular territory, facility, or type of enterprise.”
Types of Gangs Gangs can be categorized on several dimensions: Social Class (e.g., lower class vs. middle class gangs) Cloward and Ohlin’s Typology Social Gangs (alcohol and drugs) Party Gangs (heavy drug use, some vandalism) Serious Delinquent Gangs (serious delinquency; avoids drug use)
Type of organization (see next slide)
Lewis Yablonsky’s Typology Yablonsky identified 3 types of gangs, based on the sophistication of their organization Usually very large gangs which have become intricately involved in their communities Often entail a “federation” of several local gangs Examples include Black P. Stone Nation, Vice Lords and possibly Crips, and Bloods Organized around delinquency, but do not have the scale or organization of institutionalized gangs
Near Group (see next page)
Yablonsky’s “Near Group” According to Yablonsky, the “near group” is the most common type of gang 7 characteristics of near groups: Minimal consensus of norms
Limited definition of membership expectation
Non-Sociological Theories of Gang Formation Early theories-- that there was a natural propensity toward gang formation among boys Anthropological view-- gangs fulfill deep-seated needs for tribal group process such as that which sustained our ancestors over the millenia Psychological view-- gangs serve as an outlet for psychologically diseased youth
Rational choice view-- gangs provide opportunities to realize goals. Such goals include financial gain, protection, and social support.
Sociological Theories of Gang Formation Frederick Thrasher-- gangs arise out of spontaneous play groups Tannenbaum-- gangs fill a need for primary group involvement
Review general theories of Cloward and Ohlin, Cohen, Shaw and McKay
Extensiveness of Gangs Extensiveness of Gangs
Extent of Gang Delinquency
Social Correlates of Delinquency Drug Use
Types of Drugs Used Opium, Morphine, Heroin, Dilaudid, etc. Alcohol, tranquilizers, most inhalants Caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, cocaine, crack
LSD, mescaline, peyote, nutmeg
How is Drug Use Measured: Three National Surveys Institute for Social Research (ISR) Survey Annual survey of 50,000 students from in 8th 10th and 12th grades 400 public and private schools Asked about lifetime, monthly, and annual use of 16 commonly abused drugs (including alcohol and tobacco 10-year follow-up done on about 2,400 students Parents Resource Institute for Drug Abuse (PRIDE) conducts annual surveys ofmore than 200,000 juniors and seniors in 34 states National Household Survey (NHS)
annually interviews about 10,000 people in their homes
Trends in Drug Use: ISR Statistics
Trends in Drug Use: NHS Statistics
Drug Use and Crime: Three Models Drug Use Crime Crime Drug Use Drug Use Crime Other Factors
Drug Use: A Career Model Drug Availability Life Structure
Career Patterns of Heroin Use
The Juvenile Justice System An Overview
Nineteenth Century Juvenile Justice American juvenile justice (and criminal justice) is rooted in the English legal system this system did not much discriminate between adult and child offenders Under age 7 (or 10) child was not considered prosecutable at all; over age 10, could be prosecuted as an adult Treatment was harsh, and children were often housed with adult criminals Some humanizing attempts were introduced: Massachusetts introduced probation in 1841
By mid-century, special institutions introduced for children
Factors in the Development of the Juvenile Court Industrialization and Urbanization Child Saving Movement Development of Juvenile Institutions
Industrialization and Urbanization 19th century witnessed massive population growth due to higher birth rates and immigration
Industrial economy resulted in massive relocation to the cities
Child-Saving Movement This name was given collectively to those responding to the needs of primarily poor children in the 19th century. They engaged in various activities: lobbied state legislatures to enact laws to commit wayward youth instrumental in development of the institution launched propaganda campaigns generally, brought into focus the concept parens patriae Most of the child savers were white, middle class women The premiere organization to emerge was Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children first established in New York in 1874
By 1900, 300 SPCC chapters were formed
The Juvenile Institution This was a major contribution of the child savers Were called by various names, including Houses of Refuge, Reform Schools , etc.
Initially, these were congregate living arrangements; later the “cottage plan” was implemented
Establishment of the Juvenile Court The juvenile court was the logical next step to the institution It was first established in Cook County, IL, in 1899 By 1917, all but three states had adopted the juvenile court The Illinois invention a watershed: it set the model for courts to come made an official distinction between neglected and abused children, and those who were delinquent
consequently, for the first time, juvenile misconduct was officially known as “juvenile delinquency.”
Twentieth Century Implementation The new juvenile courts handled three types of cases: criminal (delinquent) cases “ status offense” cases (by about 1920) delinquent environment cases The Illinois model went unchallenged until after WWII Major challenges came in the 1960’s: In re Gault and other cases challenged the lack of constitutional rights for children, including right to attorney, etc. In 1962, New York created a “family court:” included other family issues such as adoption and support hearings
established a new category: Person in Need of Supervision (PINS)
Contemporary Overview More than 3000 juvenile courts in the U.S. About 6500 juvenile probation officers Some statistics on juveniles: 2.2 million juveniles arrested each year 1.5 million of these are petitioned to the courts 500,000 children placed on formal or informal probation just under 100,000 held in institutions
untold number diverted into community work
Philosophical and Procedural Distinctions between Juvenile and Criminal Justice Philosophical differences focus on rehabilitation (vs. punishment) concern for the welfare of the child (vs. community) effort made to reduce stigma attached to criminal courts proceedings are much more informal proceedings are usually kept private
only recently have lawyers and cross examination been allowed
Key Court Cases in Twentieth Century Juvenile Justice Kent v. United States (1966)
McKeiver v. Pennsylvania (1971)
Official Reaction to Juvenile Delinquency Components of the Juvenile Justice System I: The Police
History of Police Work with Juveniles Roots are in the English system of policing 1st organized police force established in England in 1829. Called “bobbies” Children recognized as a special problem by mid-century Police departments organized in the US by mid-19th century Did not recognize special problems of children until late 19th century During 1960’s, attention to juveniles took on more importance with Supreme Court decisions
By 1980’s most dep’ts had special juvenile officers and larger cities had entire juvenile units.
Common Perceptions of Policework Super Sleuth Officer in Hot Pursuit
Typical Police Roles with Juveniles One study suggests only 5% of police encounters with juveniles are for felonies; 60% involve nothing more than rowdiness Peace Keeper Social Worker
Juvenile work often involves conflict for the officer because it does not conform to stereotypical roles of law enforcement officer
Organization of Police Work with Juveniles Three Broad Types of Organization Juvenile cases handled by the regular police This is the historic pattern Only very small communities have this pattern today Assignment of one or more officers to juvenile cases Became a common strategy in the 70’s and 80’s Officers were specially trained to deal with juveniles Created morale problems as juvenile officers were stigmatized Establishment of separate juvenile units This is the practice of larger departments
Often there are subunits, such as drug education, child abuse, crime, missing children, and gang units
Police Decision-Making Ideally, officers should make decisions strictly on legally-relevant factors The reality is that they must often use personal discretion
Because many of their decisions are “low visibility” there is great potential for bad decisions to be made
Factors Influencing Police Decision-Making Legal Factors Included here are such factors as seriousness of the crime, prior record of the juvenile, and any aggravating or mitigating circumstances Environmental Factors Such factors include the general community’s tolerance of youthful misbehavior; policies, practices and customs of the local police department; and alternatives to arrest Situational Factors Such factors include the attitude of the juvenile, attitude of the complainant, perceived willingness of parents to cooperate, etc. Biases and Prejudices Racial and gender prejudices; and organizational biases resulting from discriminatory police practices
Empirical Studies of Police Discrimination: Piliavin and Briar For serious offenses, the nature of the offense itself was the primary factor in police disposition For less serious offenses (90% of all police encounters) it was the officer’s assessment of the “character” of the offender.
This usually was assessed by demeanor (see table)
Empirical Studies of Police Discrimination: Black and Reiss the “social distance” between offender and victim is greater family situations--45% arrested friends/neighbors--77% arrested the complainant prefers arrest Found that an arrest is most likely when: preference unclear--16% arrested Suspect fails to show deference “ very deferential”--22% arrested
“ antagonistic”--22% arrested
Official Reaction to Juvenile Delinquency Components of the Juvenile Justice System II: Pretrial
Elements Involved in Pretrial Detention Intake Diversion Adult Transfer Petition
Intake Refers to the screening of cases by the juvenile court system Done by intake officers who are often probation officers Intake results in one of the following: send youth home with no further action divert youth to a social service agency petition to juvenile court and release until court date petition to court and hold in detention Juveniles at intake hearing
waive (transfer) case to adult court
Diversion Refers to screening children from the court without judicial determination Can be employed by police departments or courts
Encourages the child to participate in a specific program or activity with implied threat of further prosecution
Pros and Cons of Diversion Pros Helps juvenile justice system run smoothly Allows for reallocation of resources to other programs Costs less than institutionalization Cons Helps children avoid being stigmatized Results in “widening the net”
Many children who would have before simply sent home are now formally in the system
Detention Refers to the holding of children in secure facilities until trial Pretrial detention normally used only when: child might be inclined to run away before trial child might be inclined to commit another serious crime child is a violator from another jurisdiction Alternatives to detention send the child home (most common pre-trial procedure) send to shelter care-- less restrictive, normally for status offenders
send to foster care-- normally for abused and neglected children
Trends in Detention Increases in detention are increasing despite decreases in delinquency increased link between drug use and delinquency
younger children becoming involved in serious crimes
Problems With and Recommended Changes for Detention Problems Seen by some as incarceration without a trial Due to discretion in who is and is not detained, there tends to be racial and class discrimination May have a strong negative effect on child due to lack of rehabilitative services Recommendations Some jurisdictions still detain children in adult facilities Some suggest prohibiting detention altogether Should be reserved for juveniles representing a major threat to community
Should be some rehabilitative services provided
Transfer to Adult Court All states now have a provision to transfer juveniles to adult courts when deemed appropriate Three models for adult transfer. They are not mutually exclusive: Concurrent jurisdiction-- prosecutor is given total discretion Excluded offenses-- statutorily identifies certain offenses as transferrable
Judicial Waiver-- the court (not prosecutor) waives jurisdiction
Pros and Cons of Adult Transfer Pros Some suggest that repeat, hardened offenders are beyond rehabilitation anyway Can you think of any other pros? Cons Need threat of tough punishment to deter them Opponents claim that that only half-hearted attempts have been made at rehabilitation Can you think of any other cons?
Claim that the transfer is a copout and admission of failure
The Petition If a child is not diverted or waived, he/she will be petitioned to juvenile court The petition is the formal legal complaint that initiates judicial action A petition can be brought by: family member or guardian If child admits to allegations, hearing is scheduled to initiate a treatment plan If child does not admit to facts of petition: hearing is scheduled to hear the facts predisposition report is prepared
parents are notified of hearing date
Official Reaction to Juvenile Delinquency Components of the Juvenile Justice System III: Trial and Disposition
Organizational Structure of the Juvenile Court Three Organizational Models Part of a Lower Court Part of a Higher Court Independent Court
Juvenile Court Organized as Part of a Lower Court Most common of all structures
Because lower courts tend to have lower prestige, juvenile courts in these jurisdictions also suffer in importance
Juvenile Court Organized as Part of a Higher Court The higher court is typically a circuit court or superior court These are also courts that hear adult criminal cases
Juvenile court generally has more stature in these jurisdictions
Juvenile Court Organized as an Independent Court System Typically, the independent court system is devoted to family court matters Some states organize this way on a state-wide basis; others, such as Alabama, allow separate jurisdictions to do so. Advantages of separate court: Can better serve sparsely populated areas Permits judicial personnel to deal exclusively with juvenile (and family) matters More effective in obtaining legislative funding Provides more consistency in dealing with family matters
Major disadvantages is that restructuring costs can be substantial
Actors in the Juvenile Court Judge Prosecutor Defense Attorney
Actors in the Juvenile Court: The Judge Make decisions on continued detention Rule on plea bargaining agreements Hold dispositional hearings and make dispositions Coordinate and gather information from various agencies Provide leadership in developing youth services Selection of juvenile court judges--several methods Partisan or non-partisan elections
State legislature appointments
Actors in the Juvenile Court: The Prosecutor Variously called: district attorney, county attorney, state attorney. Until 1960’s the prosecutor was not part of juvenile court investigate possible violations of law work with police, intake officer and probation officer in ascertaining facts of a case authorize, review and prepare petitions provide input on detention represent state’s interest in all decisions by the court
enter into plea bargaining agreements with DA
Actors in the Juvenile Court: The Defense Attorney This office is also a creation of the 1960’s Supreme Court decisions Role is similar to defense attorney in adult court An additional role is guardian ad litem . Public defenders are available to juveniles as to adult defendants
Effectiveness of defense attorneys in juvenile court has been questioned
Functions of the Juvenile Court Pretrial Procedures Adjudication Disposition Appeal
Adjudication This is the hearing stage; counterpart to adult trial Rules of procedure, while more informal, are similar to that of adult trial
Very little research on this process in the juvenile court
Disposition This is the sentencing stage More comprehensive than in adult court; involves the development of an overall treatment plan for juvenile Little formal procedure established for this stage
Disposition is based on a predispositional report
Types of Dispositions Court-ordered school attendance Drug and Alcohol Treatment Commitment to secure treatment
Residential community program
Principles of Disposition Disposition is based on principle of least detrimental alternative this is another way of saying “what is in the best interest of the child” Recently, the interests of the community have been a major factor in dispositions Major controversy in dispositions is the indeterminate vs. determinate sentences Washington’s Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 1977
requires adjudicated juveniles aged 8-17 to spend some time in an institution
Appeals Appeal is not a constitutionally guaranteed right for juveniles, but most states provide for appeals by statute involves directly appealing decision to an appellate court to review all of the facts may involve a trial de novo --a complete retrial of the original case
Collateral --uses legal “writs” to challenge lower court decision