Soc. 235: Juvenile Delinquency
Welcome: Go over syllabus
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Dates to know about
Guest speaker: Lieutenant Chris Allen
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Chapter One: and Introduction to the
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Begin Chapter Two
Chapter One definitions
Ego identity: (Erik Erikson) psychologist, is formed when a person develops a firm sense
of who they are and what they stand for. Ages 16-18
Role diffusion: occurs when young people spread themselves too thin, experience
personal uncertainty, and place themselves a the mercy of leaders who promise to give
them a sense of identity they cannot develop for themselves.
At-risk youth: young people who are extremely vulnerable to the negative consequences
of school failure, substance abuse, and early sexuality.
Juvenile delinquency: participation in illegal behavior by a minor who falls under a
statutory age limit. Criminal behavior committed by minors!
Chronic delinquent offenders: youths who have been arrested four or more times during
their minority and perpetuate a striking majority of serious criminal acts: this small
group, known as the “chronic 6 percent” is believed to engage in a significant portion of
all delinquent behavior; these youths do not age out of crime but continue their criminal
behavior into adulthood.
Aging-out process: also known as desistance or spontaneous remission, the tendency for
youths to reduce the frequency of their offending behavior as they age; aging out is
thought to occur among all groups of offenders.
Persistence: the process by which juvenile offenders continue to persist in their
delinquent careers rather than aging out of crime.
Desistance: termination of delinquent careers
Juvenile justice system: the segment of the justice system including law enforcement
officers, the courts, and correctional agencies, designed to treat youthful offenders.
Paternalistic family: a family style wherein the father is the final authority on all family
matters and exercises complete control over his wife and children.
Primogeniture: During the Middle Ages, the right of the first-born sons to inherit lands
and titles, leaving their brothers the option of a military or religious career.
Swaddling: The practice during the Middle Ages of completely wrapping newborns in
long bandage like clothes in order to restrict their movements and make them easier to
Poor laws: English statutes that allowed the courts to appoint overseers over destitute and
neglected children, allowing placement of these children as servants in the homes of the
Chancery courts: Court proceedings created in fifteenth-century England to oversee the
lives of high-born minors who were orphaned or otherwise could not care for themselves.
Parens patriae: Power of the state to act in behalf of the child and provide care and
protection equivalent to that of a parent.
Child savers: Nineteenth-century reformers who developed programs for troubled youth
and influenced legislation creating the juvenile justice system; today some critics view
them as being more concerned with control of the poor than with their welfare.
Best interests of the child: A philosophical viewpoint that encourages the state to take
control of wayward children and provide care, custody, and treatment to remedy
Waiver: also known as bindover or removal: Transferring legal jurisdiction over the most
serious and experienced juvenile offenders to the adult court for criminal prosecution.
Status offenses: conduct that is illegal only because the child is under age.
Wayward minors: early legal designation of youth who violate the law because of their
minority status; now referred to as status offenders
Truancy: staying out of school without permission
Office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention OJJDP: Branch of the U.S. Justice
Department charged with shaping national juvenile justice policy through disbursement
of federal aid and research funds.
Things we want to know about JD?
Who are the delinquents?
How much occurs each year?
Chapter One: Nathaniel B. age 13, convicted of second-degree murder in 1995 and
received a sentence of 28 years in the state prison. Tried as an adult, he was found guilty
of murder for intentionally killed his English teacher. Nathaniel was mad over a failing
grade and being suspended over throwing water balloons. He claims the gun went off
accidentally. He had told a friend earlier that he was planning on killing his English
teacher. He said “he’d be all over the news.”
His mother was an alcoholic. His homelife was surrounded by domestic abuse.
Should children who are abused, be punished in the penal system?
Should minor children be treated in a juvenile court?
When should we try kids in adult courts?
Why should each state have different rules?
We are all worrying about gang violence and school shootings. We are worried about our
Research indicates that many habitually aggressive children have been raised in homes in
which they are physically abused by their parents and this violence persists into
Discuss the two 10 year old kids who abducted and killed the two year old in England.
Many adults think this young generation is cynical and preoccupied with material
acquisitions. By age 18, American youth have spent more time in front of the TV than in
the classroom. Each year they see over 1,000 murders, rapes, and assaults on TV. Can
this prolonged exposure to violence have an impact on child development?
We are the richest nation in the world, yet we have major problems in child welfare.
Look at the table on page five.
What can you say about the time of adolescence?
Erik Erickson, famous psychologist labeled the time of crisis for youth as a struggle
between ego identity and role diffusion. Ego Identity: is formed when persons develop a
firm sense of who they are and what they stand for.
Role diffusion: occurs when youth experience personal uncertainty, spread themselves
too thin, and place themselves at the mercy of leaders who promise to give them a sense
of identity they cannot mold for themselves.
Time of conflict with authority at home
Time of biological change
Desire to be in charge of their own life
Many are poor
Drug and alcohol abuse
How many youth are at-risk in the United States? Estimates are 25% of the population
under 17, or about fifteen million are vulnerable to negative influences in their lives<
school failure< substance abuse< early sexuality>