Peter W. Greenwood and Susan Turner
A delinquency record is one of the strongest predictors of adult criminality. Preventing delinquency helps stop the onset of adult criminal careers and thus reduces the burden of crime on its victims and on society. This article focuses on community-based programs for youths. It reviews the concept of evidence-based practice in juvenile justice, its benefits, and the challenges for adoption by agencies. It begins by presenting an appraisal of the traditional juvenile justice programming. It then reviews the methods currently accepted as the best way to identify the most effective programs. Following this, it gives a comprehensive overview of community-based programs that work, with some information about programs that are proven failures. Finally, it describes how jurisdictions are implementing the best of these programs and overcoming the challenges they meet.
This article explores questions regarding the social side of delinquent behavior. It begins with discussing crime as a group behavior, suggesting that, as social beings, humans sometimes indulge illegal or unacceptable behavior when others are present that they would never contemplate doing alone. Following this, it reviews some evidence on the social nature of crime and delinquency. Although delinquent behavior is predominantly group behavior, some offenses are more likely to be committed in groups than others. It suggests that the motivation to engage in delinquency ordinarily arises after a group assembles and as a consequence of group interaction and then discusses the implications of sociality, focusing on peer influence and some ecological theories. The search for the social aspects of delinquency remains one of the most vital areas of research in contemporary criminology.
Edward P. Mulvey and Carol A. Schubert
The juvenile court was established to separate adolescent offenders from the potentially harmful effects of involvement in the adult criminal justice system. Due to glitches in this plan, there have been mechanisms for transferring particular adolescents to the adult criminal justice system and punishing them accordingly. The debate about the appropriate time and policy to incarcerate these adolescents in adult facilities still goes on. This article, under the person-environment “fit”, explores how the fundamental orientation and the operational realities of the adult versus juvenile system appear to affect young offenders in terms of both their prison experience and their life afterwards. Furthermore, it identifies unique issues of particular needs of adult prisons and jails when dealing with adolescents, highlighting the fact that addressing the issue of what to do with serious adolescent offenders requires more than simple political posturing. Finally, it considers the reentry issues associated with young prison releases.