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AMERICAN DELINQUENCY - ITS MEANING AND CONSTRUCTION

NCJ Number
46220
Author(s)
L T EMPEY
Date Published
1978
Length
632 pages
Annotation
THE HISTORICAL EVOLUTION AND CONTEMPORARY STATE OF DELINQUENCY IS ANALYZED, AND THE MODERN CONCEPTS OF CHILDHOOD, DELINQUENCY, AND JUVENILE JUSTICE ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract
AMERICAN VIEWS OF DELINQUENCY AND JUVENILE JUSTICE ARE UNDERGOING REVOLUTIONARY CHANGES AS RADICAL AS THOSE WHICH LED TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE FIRST PRISONS, ORPHAN ASYLUMS, AND REFORMATORIES FOLLOWING THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR AND THE INVENTION OF THE JUVENILE COURT IN 1899. THE CURRENT PREOCCUPATION WITH CHILDREN IS RELATIVELY NEW. IN THE PAST, INFANTICIDE WAS COMMON, AND CHILDREN WERE TREATED WITH INDIFFERENCE. IN PRESENT TIMES, THIS VIEW HAS CHANGED QUITE SUBSTANTIALLY: CHILDREN ARE CONSIDERED TO BE QUALITATIVELY DIFFERENT FROM ADULTS, WHO NOW NURTURE AND PROTECT THEM. FOR THIS REASON, CHILD ABUSE AND YOUTH CRIME ARE ALARMING. ASPECTS OF THE TOTAL PICTURE OF DELINQUENCY INCLUDE THE NATURE OF CHILDHOOD, THE RULES THAT DEFINE DELINQUENCY, DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR, THEORIES OF DELINQUENCY, AND THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM. AS EACH OF THESE ELEMENTS OF DELINQUENCY IS CONSIDERED, ITS HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT AND CONTEMPORARY STATE ARE ANALYZED. ATTENTION IS PAID NOT ONLY TO THE CONTENT AND ADEQUACY OF VARIOUS THEORIES, TO THE DEBATE OVER THE EXTENT AND IMPLICATIONS OF JUVENILE CRIME, OR TO THE WAY THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM IS RUN, BUT ALSO TO THE PLACE OF ALL OF THESE IN THE LARGER CONTEXT AND HISTORY OF AMERICAN LIFE. THIS TEXT DEALS WITH POLICY, BUT ALSO OUTLINES THE THEORETICAL AND IDEOLOGICAL SOURCES OF POLICY. IT TRACES THE HISTORY OF RECENT DEVELOPMENT, ASSESSES THE IMPACT OF YOUTH CRIME, EVALUATES THE ELABORATE LEGAL MEANS THAT HAVE BEEN INVENTED TO AID THE YOUNG AND TO CONTROL THEIR CRIMES, AND ATTEMPTS TO FORECAST WHAT THE FUTURE WILL HOLD. REFERENCES AND INDEXES ARE INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--BAC)