The public believes that juveniles are to blame for the growth of violence in the United States that began in the mid-1980s. But, whoÆs really to blame for violent crime? Is youth gang involvement in trafficking crack cocaine in inner-cities a key factor? The Evolution of Juvenile Justice and Youth Violence in America explores how juvenile offenders have taken the brunt of crime policyÆs reaction to the high level and recent increase in violent crime in the United States. In the justice system today, juveniles are being tried with adults in criminal courts and incarcerated with them in adult prisons. Taking a historical approach and reviewing current research, author James C. Howell examines the shift in crime policy from an emphasis on treatment and rehabilitation to punishment and how that change is neither philosophically sound nor effective. Long-term solutions, Howell argues, lie in the development of more effective programs, better-matched offender treatment programs, and a more cost-effective juvenile justice system. Written with compassion yet methodologically sound, this volume creates a comprehensive framework that will help communities incorporate best practices and utilize knowledge of risk and protective factors for serious and violent delinquency. Author James C. Howell combines prevention and graduated sanctions in this sensible strategy for dealing with serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offenders. The Evolution of Juvenile Justice and Youth Violence in America is an outstanding resource and text for not only graduate students but also academics, researchers, practitioners, policymakers, professionals in the legal system, and educators.

Risk Factors for Youth Violence

Risk factors for youth violence

How can we account for the small increase (except for homicides) in juvenile violence over the past decade? This is the subject of this chapter. After examining the major risk factors for violence, we consider social and cultural changes that may help explain the increase.

Hawkins and Catalano (1992, 1993, 1996; see also Brewer et al., 1995; Hawkins, Catalano, & Miller, 1992; Loeber, Stouthamer-Loeber, Van Kammen, & Farrington, 1991) provide a comprehensive summary of risk factors for juvenile delinquency, violence, and other problem behaviors, based on their review of 30 years of research in these areas (Table 7.1). The major risk factor domains Hawkins and Catalano identify are the community, the family, the school, individual characteristics, and ...

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