The authors of the 20 chapters in Juvenile Crime and Justice address various hotly debated topics along three loosely connected themes: prevention, prosecution, and corrections. Each author presents arguments both in favor of and opposed to various treatments, programs, and punishments, examining issues such as youth curfews, juveniles in adult courts, legal representation for juveniles, juvenile boot camps, group homes, out-of-home placement, and more. The chapters included cover the leading arguments pertaining to key topics in this field and point out where more research needs to be done–which, at present, includes many of the most controversial issues in juvenile justice policy.The SeriesThe five brief, issues-based books in SAGE Reference’s Key Issues in Crime & Punishment Series offer examinations of controversial programs, practices, problems or issues from varied perspectives. Volumes correspond to the five central subfields in the Criminal Justice curriculum: Crime & Criminal Behavior, Policing, The Courts, Corrections, and Juvenile Justice. Each volume consists of approximately 20 chapters offering succinct pro/con examinations, and Recommended Readings conclude each chapter, highlighting different approaches to or perspectives on the issue at hand. As a set, these volumes provide perfect reference support for students writing position papers in undergraduate courses spanning the Criminal Justice curriculum. Each title is approximately 350 pages in length.
Chapter 9: Juvenile Gangs and Delinquency
Gangs have been the subject of much attention since the significant increase in gang-involved violence around the 1980s. The discussion around gangs is fraught with controversy and contradiction from the most basic level, such as how to define a gang, to the most complex, including what to do about them. The least debatable characteristic about gangs is that they are responsible for a disproportionate amount of delinquency. This fact makes gangs particularly interesting to the media, researchers, law enforcement, and policymakers. The depiction of gangs offered by these parties, however, do not always converge, as defining gangs is a problematic issue. Understanding gang composition and structure is a complex challenge as well, and there has been ongoing debate ...