The Second Edition of Preventing and Reducing Juvenile Delinquency: A Comprehensive Framework aims to inform students about the latest research and the most promising and effective programs and provides a wealth of information for understanding, preventing and controlling juvenile delinquency. Key Features
- Examines the history of current juvenile justice system policies and practices, including the juvenile violence “epidemic”
- Discusses key myths about juvenile violence and the ability of the juvenile justice system to handle modern-day juvenile delinquents
- Applies developmental theories of juvenile delinquency to understanding how juvenile offender careers evolve
- Reviews effective prevention and rehabilitation programs and what does not work
- Presents a comprehensive framework for building a continuum of effective programs
Intended Audience: This is an ideal supplementary text for undergraduate and graduate courses in juvenile delinquency, juvenile justice, and violent offender intervention courses. It is also essential reading for juvenile justice and social services research and development specialists.
Chapter 1: Superpredators and other Myths about Juvenile Delinquency
Superpredators and other Myths about Juvenile Delinquency
The juvenile justice field is littered with myths, for no apparent reason. This chapter explores key myths that have been promoted recently. First, what is a myth? Bernard (1992) describes myths as “beliefs about the past that are strongly held and convenient to believe but are based on little actual information. Myths are not necessarily false—people generally just don't know or care whether they are true or false. They hold the belief because it is convenient to do so” (p. 11) (“In Focus” Box 1.1). We begin this chapter by focusing on the most bizarre myth ever perpetrated about juvenile delinquency—the “superpredator”—after which other popular myths are discussed.