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.

A Comprehensive Strategy

A comprehensive strategy

The research and data presented in the preceding chapters support the following conclusions. First, most violent juvenile offending is not brought to the attention of juvenile justice authorities. The juvenile justice system does not have an opportunity to rehabilitate these offenders. Second, in most cases the juvenile justice system is intervening toward the end of self-reported offending careers, when the delinquency reduction potential is much lower. Third, scarce resources often are wasted on noncareer juvenile delinquents who are unlikely to commit further offenses because they are at the end of their short offending span. Fourth, prevention programs are much more likely to be successful than intervention programs that attempt to reduce and offset risk factors that, over time, multiply and ...

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