Alex R. Piquero and Douglas B. Weiss
This article gives an overview of the heterogeneity observed in delinquency and criminal careers. It begins with a discussion of the classic age–crime relationship, which has formed the basis for much of the theoretical, empirical, and policy discussion regarding crime and criminals. Following this, it discusses the criminal career framework that parcels the longitudinal patterning of criminal offending into different dimensions, and overviews the theories it helped to generate. Furthermore, the article reviews some of the key empirical investigations that have assessed hypotheses emerging from these theories. It then highlights several promising future research directions that are anticipated to help fill some of the gaps in understanding the heterogeneity among offenders. It concludes with a brief discussion about the policy implications emerging from theoretical and empirical literature surrounding offender heterogeneity.
Juvenile Delinquents and Juvenile Justice Clientele: Trends and Patterns in Crime and Justice System Response
Howard N. Snyder
This article presents an empirically based profile of the law violating behavior of youth and the juvenile justice system's response to such behaviors over the last generation. It begins with documenting trends in juvenile violent crime and drug abuse behavior using reports on or by victims and juvenile offender self-reports. Following this, it discusses trends in juvenile law-violating behaviors known to law enforcement using arrest statistics. The juvenile justice system's response to law-violating behavior is not a mechanical process. The article also explores trends in the juvenile justice system's responses to these officially recognized behaviors. The statistical resources used to build this picture have unique characteristics that need to be understood to interpret the findings properly. Finally, it mentions the decision makers that play a role in deciding whether or not juvenile crime trends mirror juvenile arrest, juvenile court referral, and juvenile out-of-home placement trends.
Christopher J. Schreck and Eric A. Stewart
Victimization and offending are problems linked to youth. This article is about the victim offender overlap, which is a phenomenon where a person's offending activity and victimization experiences are positively correlated. It highlights the victim-offender overlap, which is a well-documented empirical fact. Although persistent, there are few criminological theories about the victim-offender correlation and this article focuses on insights offered by some of the leading criminological theories, particularly cultural deviance, strain, control, and life-course perspectives. It interprets victim-offender overlap from this vantage point and examines the implications of a life-course approach to the study of the victim-offender overlap. In sum, it provides a review that indicates that the victim-offender nexus is not well understood, notwithstanding the vast literature connecting childhood victimization and mistreatment to offending. Finally, it poses a few questions that are vital to understanding victim-offender correlation, but are unanswered so far.