Entries

Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's Youth Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's YouthEurope, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern WorldAmerican Eras Further reading

NON JS

Crime Prevention and Punishment

Chapter 10
Crime Prevention and Punishment

CRIME PREVENTION

Over the years politicians, law enforcement officials, teachers, parents, and other concerned citizens have examined countless ideas in an effort to decrease youth violence and crime, from holding parents responsible for their children's crimes to having after-school violence prevention programs. The continuing problem of youth crime has many people devoting significant time and resources to end the cycle of violence. A variety of programs have been implemented in the area of prevention, intervention, and suppression. Efforts are ongoing to determine the effectiveness of such programs. The following sections discuss laws that have been enacted as well as a variety of prevention programs, including community prevention programs, law enforcement prevention strategies, and school-based prevention programs, to try to prevent juvenile crime.

Laws Enacted to Prevent Juvenile Crime

HOLDING PARENTS RESPONSIBLE

For many decades civil liability laws have held parents at least partly responsible for damages caused by their children. In addition, child welfare laws included actions against those who contributed to the delinquency of a minor. By the 1990s, in response to rising juvenile crime rates, communities and states passed tougher laws about parental responsibility. In "Parent Liability Child's Act" (2007, http://law.enotes.com/everyday-law-encyclopedia/parent-liability-child-s-act#criminal-responsibility), the Encyclopedia of Everyday Law notes that some states now hold parents of delinquent youth criminally liable. However, other, less stringent parental responsibility laws are more common. Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia require parents to pay court costs for their children adjudicated delinquent. Florida, Idaho, Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia require parents to pay the costs of caring for, treating, or detaining delinquent children. Idaho, Maryland, Missouri, and Oklahoma require parents to pay restitution to the victims of their children's crimes. Nine states hold parents criminally responsible for storing a loaded firearm in a place that allows minors access to it, and other states hold parents liable if they know their child possesses a firearm and do not confiscate it.

Critics of parental liability explain that victims are just looking for someone to blame. They assert that U.S. law usually holds people responsible for crimes only if they actively participate in the transmission of such acts. They believe that if standard rules of U.S. law are practiced, the prosecutor of a case should have to prove that the parents intended to participate in a crime to be found guilty. Samantha Harvell, Belen Rodas, and Leah Hendey of Georgetown University find in Parental Involvement in Juvenile Justice: Prospects and Possibilities (November 8, 2004, http://www.crocus.georgetown.edu/reports/parental.involvement.pdf) that judges and probation officers believe that parents should be more involved in legal proceedings against minors because they feel that the relationship between parent and child often contributes to delinquency. However, judges and probation officers remain somewhat reluctant to use parental sanctions. In fact, the article "UF Study: Americans Give Mixed Reviews to Parental Responsibility Laws" (University of Florida News, March 14, 2005) notes that a 2005 survey found that public support for parental responsibility laws was relatively low.

CURFEWS

To break the cycle of youth violence and crime, lawmakers have enacted curfews in various cities, towns, and rural areas across the country. Curfews for young people have existed off and on since the 1890s, when they were enacted to reduce crime among immigrant youth. States and cities often pass curfew ordinances when citizens perceive a need to maintain control over juveniles. Because of the rising rate of juvenile crime in the late 1980s and early 1990s, more than a thousand jurisdictions in the United States imposed youth curfews. Arlen Egley Jr. and Aline K. Major of the National Youth Gang Survey, in "Highlights of the 2001 National Youth Gang Survey" (April 2003, http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/fs200301.pdf), report that 62% of jurisdictions reporting gang problems used curfews or other ordinances aimed at keeping youth from congregating at night. Of those jurisdictions, 86% argued that such laws "demonstrated at least some degree of effectiveness."

Most curfew laws work essentially the same way. They are aimed at restricting juveniles to their homes or property between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. weekdays. Such laws usually allow juveniles to stay out a little later on weekends. Exceptions are made for youth who need to travel to and from school, attend church events, or go to work at different times. Other exceptions include family emergencies or situations when juveniles are accompanied by their parents.

Although many people believe that curfews are important in the fight against youth crime, critics of curfew ordinances argue that such laws violate the constitutional rights of children and their parents. They contend that the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights of people are endangered by curfew laws, especially the rights of free speech and association, privacy, and equal protection. Opponents also assert that no studies prove curfew laws to be effective. In fact, most studies—such as Patrick Boyle's "Curfews and Crime" (Youth Today, November 2006) and Caterina Grovis Roman and Gretchen Moore's "Evaluation of the Youth Curfew in Prince George's County, Maryland" (April 23, 2003, http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/200520.pdf)—show that curfews have little effect on youth crime.

Community Prevention and Intervention Programs

Prevention measures are programs aimed at keeping youth, particularly at-risk youth, from beginning a life of crime, joining gangs, and/or otherwise ending up in prison or jail. Intervention programs are designed to remove youth from gangs, criminal activities, and/or patterns of reckless behavior that would ultimately put the youth in prison or jail. Such programs typically include helping the individual build self-esteem, confidence, and socialization skills while offering education, recreation, and job skills assistance.

Although this chapter examines a few of the types of programs available, hundreds of such programs exist throughout the United States, some at the national or state levels, but many at the local/community level. Many involve mentoring—having adults and sometimes other students spend time with at-risk youth to help them explore alternatives to violence and crime. Mentoring programs take on a variety of activities, including sports, recreation, and education. Mentors help their subjects gain self-esteem, conflict resolution abilities, peer pressure resistance skills, and confidence.

Many prevention and intervention programs have seen some success with delinquent and at-risk youth, as noted by individuals who credit such groups with turning their lives around or keeping them from heading into lives of crime and violence. Others have proven to be ineffective. Those that succeed provide alternatives to youth and often a safe place to hang out, make new friends, and learn life skills.

CHICAGO AREA PROJECT

Chicago, like Los Angeles, has been home to many gangs throughout the twentieth century. In an effort to deal with the gang situation on the city's streets, the Chicago Area Project (CAP) was founded in 1934—the nation's first community-based delinquency prevention program. The program, which was designed by the sociologist Clifford R. Shaw (1895–1957), aimed to work with delinquent youth in poverty-stricken areas of Chicago. CAP staff sought to prevent youth from joining gangs and ultimately committing crimes.

To achieve this, CAP advocates believed that improvements needed to be made to neighborhoods and communities. According to CAP (April 9, 2007, http://www.chicagoareaproject.org/aboutus.htm), "The agency believes that residents must be empowered through the development of community organizations so that they can act together to improve neighborhood conditions, hold institutions serving the community accountable, reduce anti-social behavior by young people, protect them from inappropriate institutionalization, and provide them with positive models for personal development." The organization emphasizes that juvenile delinquency in low-income areas is a product of social disadvantages—not a flaw of the individual child or of individuals from certain ethnic or racial backgrounds.

CAP includes more than twenty-nine affiliates and twelve special projects. Continuing to promote self-improvement and self-determination, CAP emphasizes community organizing, advocacy, and direct service. According to CAP, it "has succeeded in arousing in individual citizens a sense of responsibility for the welfare of their children—and a realization that their own united efforts offered the most promising prospect for providing security, protection, and constructive satisfaction of the needs of the children and young people in any community."

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA

Offering a variety of programs to help youth, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA; 2007, http://www.bgca.org/) has worked with more than 4.6 million children throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and U.S. military bases in the United States and abroad. In about four thousand club locations, the group uses forty-seven thousand trained, full-time staff "to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens."

The BGCA offers a specialized program called Gang Prevention/Intervention through Targeted Outreach for those aged six to eighteen. Sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the outreach program works with delinquent youth and those at risk of becoming delinquent. The goal of the program is to provide educational and fun activities for youth in a safe environment to steer them away from becoming involved in gangs.

VIOLENCE-FREE ZONES

Coordinated by the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, violence-free zones help gang members and other violent youths turn their lives around through the adoption of a productive and peaceful lifestyle. A community-based program, the project provides various types of assistance, including life-skills training, mentoring, job assistance, substance abuse help, character development, and family services. To establish a violence-free zone, the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise and community leaders seek to end youth violence by working with warring gang factions to call a truce.

The first violence-free zone was created in 1997 in the Benning Terrace public housing complex in Washington, D.C. At that time the area was so crime-ridden that people were afraid to leave their homes. The situation became even more desperate after the twelve-year-old Daryl Hall was beaten, kidnapped, and later murdered by warring gang members. Gangs had become so bold they attacked Hall in broad daylight. The National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, in conjunction with the Alliance of Concerned Men, stepped in and was able to set up meetings between the leaders of the rival gangs. The groups managed to work out a truce.

Aimee Howd reports in "How to Stop Kids from Killing Kids" (Insight on the News, April 24, 2000) that when David Gilmore of the D.C. Housing Authority heard about the cease-fire, he joined the cause and offered jobs to some of the youths. Meaningful, legitimate employment proved to be an important asset to the program. Among the jobs available were landscaping, building maintenance, and removing graffiti. Jobs not only provided youth with an income but also with a sense of purpose and belonging. Gilmore estimates that the program saved the city $13 million and that fifteen or more deaths were prevented in the three years following the truce.

Programs have since been launched in Atlanta, Georgia; Prince George's County and Baltimore, Maryland; Dallas, Texas; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Law Enforcement Strategies

OJJDP COMPREHENSIVE GANG MODEL

The OJJDP advocates the use of a comprehensive gang model developed by Irving A. Spergel to combat gangs. Jim Burch and Candice Kane, in the fact sheet "Implementing the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model" (July 1999, http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/fs99112.pdf), note that the model includes five steps to help gang members and their communities. Steps include mobilizing the larger community to create opportunities or service organizations for gang-involved and at-risk youth; mobilizing outreach workers to connect with youth involved in gangs; creating academic, economic, and social opportunities for at-risk and gang-involved youth; using gang suppression activities and holding youth involved in gangs accountable for their actions; and helping community agencies problem solve at a grassroots level to address gang problems. The model assumes that gang violence is a byproduct of a breakdown in the larger community. According to the OJJDP, in "OJJDP Model Programs Guide" (October 11, 2005, http://www.dsgonline.com/mpg2.5/mpg_index.htm), evaluations of programs based on the OJJDP model show mixed results, although negative results generally result from poor program implementation.

GANG RESISTANCE EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Hoping to reach students before they become involved in gangs and crime, uniformed police officers throughout the country visit middle schools to discuss the life consequences associated with such activities. The thirteen-part curriculum, offered through the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program, was initially created by the Phoenix (Arizona) Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in 1991. Because that pilot program met with success, G.R.E.A.T. has expanded to all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Among the topics presented are personal, resiliency, resistance, and social skills. The stated goals of the program are to help youth resist peer pressure, have positive attitudes toward law enforcement, learn ways to avoid violence, develop basic life skills, and set positive goals for the future. According to the article "G.R.E.A.T. Middle School Component" (April 27, 2007, http://www.great-online.org/corecurriculum.htm), the G.R.E.A.T. curriculum for seventh graders educates students about gangs, violence, drug abuse, and crime; helps students recognize their responsibilities and learn how to make good decisions; fosters communication skills; and teaches anger management skills.

The effectiveness of G.R.E.A.T. training became the basis for a study conducted by Finn-Aage Esbensen and D. Wayne Osgood, who published their findings in "Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT): Results from the National Evaluation" (Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 1999). Program participants were said to have developed more negative opinions about gangs and more positive attitudes about police. They also reported experiencing lower rates of victimizations, among other things.

SUPPRESSION PROGRAMS

Another method intended to reduce youth crime and violence is called suppression. This tactic is used by law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Suppression usually involves a show of force, such as saturating an area with many uniformed police officers. The idea is meant to demonstrate to criminals that they are being watched and that criminal activities will not be tolerated. Suppression techniques also include sweeps, where officers sweep through an area rounding up youth and adult offenders. Some suppression programs have proven to be somewhat effective, whereas others have not.

In some areas with high gang activity and violent youth crime, law enforcement personnel have tried suppression techniques. Suppression programs have been tested out in various cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston, among others.

The Houston Police Department Gang Task Force is just one example of the many units of this type operating throughout the United States. Working in conjunction with the Mayor's Anti-Gang Office (2007, http://www.houstontx.gov/publicsafety/antigang/index.html), the task force focuses on areas with high gang activity by providing a highly visible presence in an effort to lessen gang violence and crime. Initiatives aim to target, arrest, and incarcerate gang members involved in criminal activities. At the same time, the Anti-Gang Office works with communities, neighborhoods, service organizations, and schools to provide supportive services to at-risk youth, including counseling, job leads, conflict resolution, and recreation programs. The Mayor's Anti-Gang Office has also provided gang awareness training to individuals, including educators, law enforcement personnel, probation officers, and members of the public since 1994. The group makes use of high-tech devices, such as geomapping and tracking systems. These programs help staff keep track of gang locations as well as youth program assistance sites.

Bill White, the mayor of Houston, reports in "Houston Mayor White Oversees Gang Free Schools and Communities Project" (April 10, 2006, http://www.usmayors.org/uscm/best_practices/usmayor06/HoustonBP.asp) that suppression is generally not successful alone. Houston provides an example of how suppression can be combined with other program elements, in that the Mayor's Anti-Gang Office uses suppression techniques as one element of the OJJDP's comprehensive gang model, "a paradigm that utilizes five core strategies (community mobilization, provision of opportunities, social intervention, suppression, organizational change and development) to address gang issues within a targeted community."

SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS

The School Resource Officers (SROs) program is intended to improve relations between youth and police. The project, designed to prevent and intercept the commission of youth crime and violence, also gives students and police officers the chance to get to know one another. In some areas, children grow up with contempt for or fear of police. The SRO program works to eliminate these concerns as well as to educate students about the law and provide one-on-one mentoring.

Under the program, a police officer is dispatched to a school as an SRO. The officer works to prevent crime, violence, and substance abuse; makes arrests if necessary during the commission of crimes; counsels students; and conducts classes about law enforcement and school safety. The program calls this the TRIAD concept (police officer, educator, and counselor). To participate as an SRO, candidates must complete a specialized training program. The SRO program is credited with helping reduce youth crime in schools and in the community.

Founded in 1990, the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) has a national membership of nine thousand officers. NASRO holds annual conferences and provides workshops for the SROs about various procedures, techniques, and prevention measures. The group also conducts surveys of its members to learn more about current issues affecting the SROs and schools. For example, Kenneth S. Trump of the National School Safety and Security Services, in School Safety Left Behind? School Safety Threats Grow as Preparedness Stalls and Funding Decreases: NASRO 2004 National School-Based Law Enforcement Survey (February 2005, http://www.schoolsecurity.org/resources/2004%20NASRO%20Survey%20Final%20Report%20NSSSS.pdf), notes that over a third of the SROs (37.4%) believed that gang activity in their schools had increased, another third (38%) believed gang activity had remained the same, and only 8.4% believed gang activity had decreased.

School-Based Prevention Programs

STUDENTS AGAINST VIOLENCE EVERYWHERE

After Alex Orange was shot and killed in Charlotte, North Carolina, while trying to stop a fight in 1989, his classmates at West Charlotte High School decided to organize the group Students against Violence Everywhere (SAVE). SAVE (2006, http://www.nationalsave.org/main/statistics.php) has grown far beyond Orange's high school; in 2006 it had more than 1,650 chapters with 189,000 student members. The organization is active in elementary, middle, and high schools across the United States. Members have their own "colors": orange for Alex Orange and purple for peace and nonviolence.

The group focuses on violence prevention and on helping kids gain life skills, knowledge, and an understanding of the consequences of violence and crime. SAVE helps members overcome negative peer pressure situations through the development of positive peer interactions. It also plans safe activities, including cosponsor-ship of the National Youth Violence Prevention Campaign (2007, http://www.violencepreventionweek.org/). During the weeklong campaign participants spend each day focused on one aspect of violence prevention. For example, the first day seeks to "promote respect and tolerance," and other days focus on anger management, conflict resolution, school and community safety, and unity.

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS IN SCHOOL

The Big Brothers Big Sisters program has been serving children for over one hundred years. The organization provides one-on-one mentoring services to young people (aged five to eighteen) throughout the United States. Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks to help youth perform better at school, stay clear of drugs and alcohol, improve their relationships with others, and avoid lives of crime and violence. Under the main program, a child is paired with an adult who spends time with him or her several times each month on outings, which can include sports, recreation, visits to museums or parks, and so on. Through the experience, the "Bigs" help the "Littles" develop life skills, confidence, and self-esteem.

Big Brothers Big Sisters has also developed programs for school children. Through the group's outreach program, volunteers visit schools weekly to provide one-on-one mentoring to students needing help. In addition, high school students also gain experience mentoring elementary school children through the High School Bigs program. While helping older students develop skills working with children, the project helps younger children bond with teens closer to their own age and see that they, too, can grow up to lead productive lives. According to the Big Brothers Big Sisters Report to the Community, 2005 (2006, http://www.bbbs.org/), the organization provided assistance to 234,000 children in 2005, a 5% increase over the year before, through 440 local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies.

PUNISHMENT

Juvenile Justice

In Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report (March 2006, http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ojstatbb/nr2006/downloads/NR2006.pdf), Howard N. Snyder and Melissa Sickmund of the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) indicate that juvenile court generally has original jurisdiction in cases involving youth who are under age eighteen when the crime was committed, when the youth is arrested, or when the offender is referred to the court. In 2004 thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia considered the oldest age for juveniles to be seventeen. Ten states—Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin—used sixteen—meaning that youth aged seventeen are under the jurisdiction of criminal courts. In Connecticut, New York, and North Carolina the age was set at fifteen—in other words, sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds are tried in criminal court.

When youth crime surged in the 1980s, many citizens called for changes in the juvenile justice system. According to Snyder and Sickmund, forty-five states made it easier to transfer juveniles from the juvenile justice system to the criminal justice system, thirty-one states made a wider variety of sentencing options for juveniles available, forty-seven states either changed or removed confidentiality provisions of the juvenile justice system, twenty-two states passed laws that enhanced the rights of victims of juvenile crime, and new programs for juveniles were developed in most states. As a result of these changes, more juveniles were tried as adults in the criminal justice system. Codes regulating state juvenile justice systems now tend to strike a balance between prevention/treatment goals and punishment rather than focusing mainly on rehabilitation.

If the court deems that it is in the interests of the juvenile and the public, juvenile courts in some states may retain jurisdiction over juvenile offenders past the ages discussed earlier. Thus, such courts can handle juvenile offenders until they turn twenty in thirty-three states and the District of Columbia. Snyder and Sickmund note that Florida uses age twenty-one, Kansas uses age twenty-two, and California, Montana, Oregon, and Wisconsin use age twenty-four as the cutoff. Extended jurisdiction, however, may be limited by legislation to specific crimes or certain juveniles. Hence, the question of "who is considered a juvenile" does not have one consistent, standard answer. In various states exceptions can be made to the age criteria. This is done so that juveniles can be tried as adults or to provide for procedures under which a prosecutor can decide to handle an offender as a juvenile or an adult.

DOES IT WORK?

From 1996 to 2005 the murder rate for juvenile offenders consistently declined, dropping 46.8% in that period, and juvenile arrests for violent crimes—murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault—were at their lowest rate since 1980. (See Table 10.1.) In 2005 only 739 juveniles were arrested for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, compared with 1,388 in 1996. As such, some public officials believe that efforts to reduce crime through adult sentencing were working. However, many experts attribute the murder rate decline to expanded after-school crime prevention programs, the decline of crack cocaine and violent gangs, and big-city police efforts to crack down on illegal guns.

A 1987 Florida study discussed by Donna M. Bishop et al., in "The Transfer of Juveniles to Criminal Court: Does It Make a Difference?" (Crime and Delinquency, April 1996), suggests that juveniles tried in adult courts were likely to be rearrested more quickly and more often than juveniles who went to juvenile court. The study compared the rearrest rates of juveniles transferred to criminal court with a matched sample (similar crimes, past court experience, age, gender, and race) of those retained in the juvenile system. Of the transferred youth, 30% were rearrested, compared with 19% of the non-transferred ones. Transferred youth who were rearrested had committed a new offense within an average of 135 days of release, compared with an average of 227 days for youth processed in juvenile courts.

TABLE 10.1
Ten-year arrest trends by age and offense, 1996–2005
[8,009 agencies; 2005 estimated population 178,017,991; 1996 estimated population 159,290,470]
Offense charged Number of persons arrested
Total all ages Under 18 years of age 18 years of age and over
1996 2005 Percent change 1996 2005 Percent change 1996 2005 Percent change
aDoes not include suspicion.
bViolent crimes are offenses of murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crimes are offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
Source: "Table 32. Ten-Year Arrest Trends: Totals, 1996–2005," in Crime in the United States 2005, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 2006, http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/data/table_32.html (accessed March 5, 2007)
    Totala 8,619,699 8,244,321 −4.4 1,703,500 1,278,948 −24.9 6,916,199 6,965,373 +0.7
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter9,5647,989−16.51,388739−46.88,1767,250−11.3
Forcible rape18,74515,129−19.33,2022,392−25.315,54312,737−18.1
Robbery80,98067,841−16.225,31816,791−33.755,66251,050−8.3
Aggravated assault315,405282,003−10.646,12436,967−19.9269,281245,036−9.0
Burglary220,798180,973−18.085,24847,416−44.4135,550133,557−1.5
Larceny-theft905,963692,593−23.6319,161182,813−42.7586,802509,780−13.1
Motor vehicle theft100,31882,160−18.142,95719,755−54.057,36162,405+8.8
Arson11,5989,716−16.26,5064,915−24.55,0924,801−5.7
    Violent crimeb424,694372,962−12.276,03256,889−25.2348,662316,073−9.3
    Property crimeb1,238,677965,442−22.1453,872254,899−43.8784,805710,543−9.5
Other assaults756,129737,475−2.5137,850142,957+3.7618,279594,518−3.8
Forgery and counterfeiting72,10370,738−1.95,4332,600−52.166,67068,138+2.2
Fraud255,162193,539−24.26,9474,779−31.2248,215188,760−24.0
Embezzlement10,15212,087+19.1880751−14.79,27211,336+22.3
Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing91,83282,771−9.926,64713,902−47.865,18568,869+5.7
Vandalism190,069168,366−11.487,90763,697−27.5102,162104,669+2.5
Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc.123,016112,054−8.931,06726,834−13.691,94985,220−7.3
Prostitution and commercialized vice48,93641,641−14.9723870+20.348,21340,771−15.4
Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution)56,48452,410−7.210,62010,437−1.745,86441,973−8.5
Drug abuse violations830,6841,034,844+24.6117,400106,150−9.6713,284928,694+30.2
Gambling6,3523,446−45.7563395−29.85,7893,051−47.3
Offenses against the family and children84,45972,623−14.04,8393,067−36.679,62069,556−12.6
Driving under the influence877,727816,243−7.011,00010,550−4.1866,727805,693−7.0
Liquor laws364,792348,974−4.395,68676,756−19.8269,106272,218+1.2
Drunkenness446,767335,730−24.914,8219,094−38.6431,946326,636−24.4
Disorderly conduct420,232379,439−9.7112,697116,422+3.3307,535263,017−14.5
Vagrancy16,42417,376+5.81,9981,395−30.214,42615,981+10.8
All other offenses (except traffic)2,062,9082,269,707+10.0264,418220,050−16.81,798,4902,049,657+14.0
Suspicion4,0252,569−36.21,453360−75.22,5722,209−14.1
Curfew and loitering law violations119,40787,658−26.6119,40787,658−26.6
Runaways122,69368,796−43.9122,69368,796−43.9

Youth on Trial: A Developmental Perspective on Juvenile Justice (Thomas Grisso and Robert G. Schwartz, eds., 2000) discusses some of the problems in transferring juveniles to adult court. The authors note that juveniles have a harder time than adults when making "knowing and intelligent" decisions at many junctures in the criminal justice process. In particular, problems occur when waiving Miranda rights, which allow the juvenile to remain silent and talk to a lawyer before responding to questions posed by police. When a juvenile waives such rights, this can lead to much more serious consequences in adult court than in juvenile proceedings. The authors assert that "questions must be raised regarding the juvenile's judgment, decision-making capacity, and impulse control as they relate to criminal culpability" in adult proceedings. Before deciding if a youth can be held accountable as an adult for a particular offense, according to researchers and experts in child development, it is important to understand an adolescent's intellectual, social, and emotional development.

Juvenile Arrests

According to statistics maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the property and violent crime arrest rate for juveniles aged ten to seventeen began to rise during the 1980s. As recorded in the FBI's Property Crime Index and Violent Crime Index, arrests per one hundred thousand juveniles in that age bracket decreased for both property and violent crime from around 1980 to 1983. At that point, property crime arrests began a gradual increase and violent crime started to surge in the late 1980s. Around 1995 arrest rates for both property crime and violent acts began to decrease, with violent crimes seeing the greatest reductions.

Between 1996 and 2005 the number of juveniles arrested for all crimes dropped 24.9%; during this same period arrests of adults increased by 0.7%. (See Table 10.1.) Arrests of juveniles for some offenses declined even more drastically. For example, arrests of juveniles for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter dropped 46.8%, for burglary, 44.4%, for motor vehicle theft, 54%, and for drunkenness, 38.6%. Other offenses dropped much less. For example, arrests for driving while under the influence of alcohol dropped by only 4.1%, for drug abuse violations, by 9.6%, for carrying or possessing weapons, by 13.6%, and for sex offenses other than rape and prostitution, by only 1.7%. Arrests of juveniles for prostitution actually increased by 20.3% during this period.

Crime in the United States 2005 (September 2006, http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/index.html) reports that 14.1 million arrests were made nationwide in 2005, an increase of 0.2% from 2004. Overall, in 2005, 15.5% of all people arrested were juveniles and 84.5% were adults. Adults were most often arrested for drug abuse violations (928,000 arrests), whereas juveniles were most often arrested for larceny-theft (183,000 arrests). (See Table 10.1.) Adults were proportionally more likely to be arrested for violent crime than were juveniles, whereas juveniles were more likely to be arrested for property crime. In 2005, 84.7% of arrests for violent crime were arrests of adults; however, only 73.6% of arrests for property crime were of adults.

ARRESTS AMONG SPECIFIC AGE GROUPS

Crime in the United States 2005 also records arrest rate statistics for specific age groups—under fifteen, under eighteen, under twenty-one, and under twenty-five—as shown in Table 10.2. Whereas 15.3% of all people arrested were juveniles in that year, almost half (44.3%) of all people arrested were under age twenty-five, highlighting that crime is often perpetrated by young adults, rather than juveniles. These statistics also show what crimes are more likely to be committed by juveniles rather than by young adults. Table 10.2 compares the number of arrests for these four age groups against the total number of arrests for all ages in 2005. For each offense, it presents the number of actual arrests for each age group as well as what percentage of total arrests falls within each age group.

A high percentage does not necessarily indicate a high number of arrests in a category. Instead, it means that age group was responsible for a high percentage of arrests within that category. For example, 141,035 individuals under eighteen were arrested on drug abuse violations, which was 10.4% of the total arrests in that category. (See Table 10.2.) Compare that to the 16,501 people under the age of eighteen arrested for buying, receiving, and possessing stolen property. Although the number of stolen property offenses is far less than that of drug abuse violations for those under age eighteen, it represented 16.6% of the total arrests for stolen property. Such percentages help law enforcement personnel identify trends and patterns in juvenile crime.

Two categories that consistently had high arrest percentages among each of the four age groups presented in Table 10.2 were arson and vandalism. Two-thirds of arrests for each of these crimes (66.3%) were of young adults under age twenty-five. Of the 12,012 arrests for arson in 2005, more than a quarter (28.8%) were of youth under age fifteen, almost half (48.6%) were of juveniles under age eighteen, and 58.1% were of people under age twenty-one. Vandalism was less associated with the youngest juveniles. Of the 206,351 people arrested for vandalism in 2005, 15.5% were under age fifteen, 37.2% were under age eighteen, and more than half (52.8%) were under age twenty-one.

Other categories with the highest arrest percentages for those under age fifteen include disorderly conduct (11.9%), larceny-theft (9%), sex offenses, except forcible rape and prostitution (9%), and burglary (8.7%). (See Table 10.2.) The under-age-fifteen group also scored high in two other categories that are not applicable to those over age eighteen: curfew and loitering law violations and runaway arrests. A little more than a quarter of all arrests for curfew violations (28.2%) were of people under age fifteen, and 34.6% of arrests of runaways were of people under age fifteen. Children under age fifteen were the least likely to be arrested for murder (0.9%), forgery and counterfeiting (0.4%), fraud (0.4%), embezzlement (0.3%), prostitution (0.3%), and drunkenness (0.3%).

All arrests for curfew violations and of runaways were of youth under the age of eighteen. Besides arson and vandalism, arrests for disorderly conduct (29.7%), burglary (26.1%), larceny-theft (25.7%), motor vehicle theft (25.5%), and carrying and possessing weapons (23.1%) were particularly likely to be of youth under age eighteen. (See Table 10.2.) Arrests for offenses against the family and children (4.2%), forgery and counterfeiting (3.5%), drunkenness (2.9%), fraud (2.5%), prostitution (1.9%), and driving under the influence of alcohol (1.3%) were the least likely to be of youth under age eighteen.

Despite the overall decrease in arrests of juveniles, Snyder and Sickmund report that delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts nationwide increased to over 1.6 million between 1985 and 2002. Cases involving offenses against people rose to 387,500. (See Figure 10.1.) Cases involving public order offenses increased to 409,800. Cases involving drugs rose to 193,200. In contrast, juvenile court cases involving property offenses decreased to 624,900 during this period.

ARRESTSBYGENDER

In Juvenile Arrests 2004 (December 2006, http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/214563.pdf), Howard N. Snyder of the NCJJ reports that young males were arrested in far greater numbers than young females between 1980 to 2004 in general. However, juvenile female arrestrates grew proportionately more than did arrests among young males, particularly in violent crime. In 2000 females represented 28% of the juveniles arrested. By 2004 the percentage of juvenile arrests who were female had reached 30%. Even though arrests of both males and females decreased between 1995 and 2004, arrests of females decreased less in most offense categories—and in some categories female arrests increased, whereas male arrests decreased.

TABLE 10.2
Arrests of persons under 15, 18, 21, and 25 years of age, 2005
[10,974 agencies; 2005 estimated population 217,722,329]
Offense charged Total all ages Number of persons arrested Percent of total all ages
Under 15 Under 18 Under 21 Under 25 Under 15 Under 18 Under 21 Under 25
aViolent crimes are offenses of murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crimes are offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
*Less than one-tenth of 1 percent.
Source: "Table 41. Arrests of Persons Under 15, 18, 21, and 25 Years of Age, 2005," in Crime in the United States 2005, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 2006, http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/data/table_41.html (accessed March 5, 2007)
    Total 10,369,819 479,926 1,582,068 3,020,386 4,588,884 4.6 15.3 29.1 44.3
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter10,335979292,8645,1290.99.027.749.6
Forcible rape18,7331,0552,8885,5858,3345.615.429.844.5
Robbery85,3094,98621,51539,47052,9155.825.246.362.0
Aggravated assault331,46915,46845,15082,245132,1794.713.624.839.9
Burglary220,39119,13557,50696,832127,7408.726.143.958.0
Larceny-theft854,85677,340219,881343,938446,3209.025.740.252.2
Motor vehicle theft108,3016,44327,66646,37662,9805.925.542.858.2
Arson12,0123,4635,8346,9827,95828.848.658.166.3
    Violent crimea445,84621,60670,482130,164198,5574.815.829.244.5
    Property crimea1,195,560106,381310,887494,128644,9988.926.041.353.9
Other assaults958,47774,377182,578275,372405,8677.819.028.742.3
Forgery and counterfeiting87,3463703,09614,24529,1710.43.516.333.4
Fraud231,7211,0335,88227,05361,4320.42.511.726.5
Embezzlement14,097498563,6816,2200.36.126.144.1
Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing99,1734,20216,50133,16349,3214.216.633.449.7
Vandalism206,35131,92576,817109,002136,75015.537.252.866.3
Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc.142,87811,24633,06958,27883,6497.923.140.858.5
Prostitution and commercialized vice62,6631631,2047,85716,5240.31.912.526.4
Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution)67,0726,05212,19619,52326,8169.018.229.140.0
Drug abuse violations1,357,84122,596141,035376,106621,1041.710.427.745.7
Gambling8,1011991,4643,0854,4112.518.138.154.5
Offenses against the family and children93,1721,2303,9019,87321,2121.34.210.622.8
Driving under the influence997,33823612,956103,277296,129*1.310.429.7
Liquor laws437,9238,70692,556302,455334,8622.021.169.176.5
Drunkenness412,9301,39311,81650,135116,9780.32.912.128.3
Disorderly conduct501,12959,395148,795210,857284,99311.929.742.156.9
Vagrancy24,3721,0823,4165,4507,5584.414.022.431.0
All other offenses (except traffic)2,837,80670,131266,885600,5281,055,7672.59.421.237.2
Suspicion2,747974008781,2893.514.632.046.9
Curfew and loitering law violations104,05429,382104,054104,054104,05428.2100.0100.0100.0
Runaways81,22228,07581,22281,22281,22234.6100.0100.0100.0

For example, between 1996 and 2005 juvenile male arrests for aggravated assault dropped by 23.4%, whereas juvenile female arrests dropped by only 5.4%. (See Table 10.3.) Juvenile male arrests for simple assault dropped by 4.1%, whereas juvenile female arrests increased by 24%. Arrests of juvenile males for drug abuse violations dropped by 13.6%, whereas arrests of juvenile females for the same offense increased by 14.4%. Crime in the United States 2005 notes that females accounted for 50% of all arrests for embezzlement and 66.4% of arrests for prostitution, more than any other type of crime.

Crime in the United States 2005 reports that 76.2% of all arrests in the United States were of males (all ages) in 2005. In that year, more than four out of five (82.1%) people arrested for violent crime were male, whereas 68% of those arrested for property crime were male. Between 1996 and 2005 the number of arrests of males dropped 7.6%, whereas the number of arrests of females increased 7.4%. The rate for juvenile males dropped 28.7% during this period, whereas the rate for juvenile females dropped only 14.3%.

According to the FBI's ten-year arrest trends, juvenile males and females engage in many of the same types of crimes. For example, the crime most frequently committed by both males and females was larceny-theft. Although numbers of arrests were down for both males and females in this category in 2005, 105,513 males were arrested, whereas 77,300 females were arrested. As such, juvenile males were responsible for 18% of arrests for larceny-theft, and juvenile females for 11%. Together, juvenile offenders represented 29% of all larceny-theft arrests.

Other areas with high arrest rates of both juvenile males and females include other assault, disorderly conduct, and drug abuse violations. Young males were arrested 95,555 times for other assault charges, whereas young females were arrested 47,402 times for this offense in 2005. (See Table 10.3.) Disorderly conduct resulted in 78,552 young males and 37,870 young females under age eighteen being arrested, and drug abuse violations accounted for the arrests of 86,895 young males and 19,255 young females.

Other crimes most frequently committed by young males and females include liquor law violations (49,116 arrests for males, 27,640 arrests for females) and curfew and loitering law violations (61,069 arrests for males, 26,589 arrests for females). (See Table 10.3.) Males also saw high numbers of arrests for vandalism (54,939 arrests), whereas young females were arrested 39,809 times as runaways.

Despite the high number of juvenile crimes, arrest rates for youth under age eighteen were down in many categories between 1996 and 2005. Young males experienced the greatest decline in the number of arrests for motor vehicle theft (down 55.3%); buying, receiving, and possessing stolenproperty (down 50.1%); murder and nonnegligent manslaughter (down 48.5%); and forgery and counterfeiting (down 47.8%). (See Table 10.3.) During this same periodyoung female arrest rates dropped most for forgery and counterfeiting (down 59.3%), gambling (down 51.4%), motor vehicle theft (down 47.1%), and running away (down 43.4%).

Whereas juvenile males experienced decreases in arrests for all crime categories, female juveniles witnessed increases for certain crimes between 1996 and 2005. Arrests of young females were up for prostitution and commercialized vice (up 59%) and other sex offenses (up 26.4%), driving under the influence (up 30.6%), disorderly conduct (up 29.3%), and for other assaults (up 24%). (See Table 10.3.)

TABLE 10.3
Ten-year arrest trends by sex, 1996–2005
[8,009 agencies; 2005 estimated population 178,017,991; 1996 estimated population 159,290,470]
Offense charged Male Female
Total Under 18 Total Under 18
1996 2005 Percent change 1996 2005 Percent change 1996 2005 Percent change 1996 2005 Percent change
aDoes not include suspicion.
bViolent crimes are offenses of murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crimes are offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
Source: "Table 33. Ten-Year Arrest Trends by Sex, 1996–2005," in Crime in the United States 2005, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 2006, http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/data/table_33.html (accessed March 5, 2007)
    Totala 6,773,900 6,261,672 −7.6 1,258,168 897,305 −28.7 1,845,799 1,982,649 +7.4 445,332 381,643 −14.3
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter8,5727,114−17.01,290664−48.5992875−11.89875−23.5
Forcible rape18,51214,924−19.43,1532,332−26.0233205−12.04960+22.4
Robbery73,19260,096−17.922,96215,118−34.27,7887,745−0.62,3561,673−29.0
Aggravated assault260,469224,080−14.036,97228,312−23.454,93657,923+5.49,1528,655−5.4
Burglary195,124153,888−21.176,49041,672−45.525,67427,085+5.58,7585,744−34.4
Larceny-theft595,297421,828−29.1212,281105,513−50.3310,666270,765−12.8106,88077,300−27.7
Motor vehicle theft86,40567,522−21.936,18816,172−55.313,91314,638+5.26,7693,583−47.1
Arson9,9728,114−18.65,7944,230−27.01,6261,602−1.5712685−3.8
    Violent crimeb360,745306,214−15.164,37746,426−27.963,94966,748+4.411,65510,463−10.2
    Property crimeb886,798651,352−26.6330,753167,587−49.3351,879314,090−10.7123,11987,312−29.1
Other assaults597,763554,044−7.399,61095,555−4.1158,366183,431−15.838,24047,402+24.0
Forgery and counterfeiting45,25043,068−4.83,3881,768−47.826,85327,670+3.02,045832−59.3
Fraud137,874104,201−24.44,5363,065−32.4117,28889,338−23.82,4111,714−28.9
Embezzlement5,5455,979+7.8486419−13.84,6076,108+32.6394332−15.7
Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing78,15666,459−15.023,14011,540−50.113,67616,312+19.33,5072,362−32.6
Vandalism163,890139,529−14.978,22654,939−29.826,17928,837+10.29,6818,758−9.5
Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc.113,685103,184−9.228,65724,052−16.19,3318,870−4.92,4102,782+15.4
Prostitution and commercialized vice20,52414,615−28.8303202−33.328,41227,026−4.9420668+59.0
Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution)52,29648,112−8.09,8299,437−4.04,1884,298+2.67911,000+26.4
Drug abuse violations688,006832,707+21.0100,56886,895−13.6142,678202,137+41.716,83219,255+14.4
Gambling5,5412,942−46.9528378−28.4811504−37.93517−51.4
Offenses against the family and children68,21155,393−18.83,0891,894−38.716,24817,230+6.01,7501,173−33.0
Driving under the influence745,658658,705−11.79,1918,187−10.9132,069157,538+19.31,8092,363+30.6
Liquor laws286,425255,746−10.766,53749,116−26.278,36793,228+19.029,14927,640−5.2
Drunkenness391,721284,892−27.312,1566,999−42.455,04650,838−7.62,6652,095−21.4
Disorderly conduct324,503279,714−13.883,41878,552−5.895,72999,725+4.229,27937,870+29.3
Vagrancy12,89313,752+6.71,6541,082−34.63,5313,624+2.6344313−9.0
All other offenses (except traffic)1,651,9221,751,008+6.0201,228159,156−20.9410,986518,699+26.263,19060,894−3.6
Suspicion3,2092,211−31.11,118254−77.3816358−56.1335106−68.4
Curfew and loitering law violations84,19461,069−27.584,19461,069−27.535,21326,589−24.535,21326,589−24.5
Runaways52,30028,987−44.652,30028,987−44.670,39339,809−43.470,39339,809−43.4

ARRESTS BY RACE

African-Americans are disproportionately arrested in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau reports in Race and Hispanic Origin in 2005 (2005, http://www.census.gov/population/pop-profile/dynamic/RACEHO.pdf) that in 2005 the U.S. population was 80.4% white, 12.8% African-American, 4.2% Asian, and 1% Native American or Alaskan Native. Hispanics, who can be of any race, represented 14.1% of the total. Crime in the United States 2005 notes that 69.8% of all arrested individuals in 2005 were white, 27.8% were African-American, 1.3% were Native American or Alaskan Native, and 1% were Asian or Pacific Islander.

Arrested juveniles exhibited a similar racial distribution; 67.5% of arrested juveniles were white, 29.9% were African-American, 1.3% were Native American or Alaskan Native, and 1.3% were Asian or Pacific Islander in 2005. (See Table 10.4.) Among juveniles, a particularly high proportion of those arrested for driving under the influence (93.3%), violation of liquor laws (91.6%), drunkenness (88.8%), arson (79.1%), vagrancy (79.1%), offenses against the family and children (79%), and vandalism (78%) was white. A particularly high proportion of those arrested for gambling (92.2%), robbery (67.5%), prostitution and commercialized vice (55.8%), and murder and nonnegligent manslaughter (54%) was African-American.

In 2005 juveniles were arrested more for larceny-theft than for any other crime (218,383 arrests). They were also arrested more often for simple assaults (181,114 arrests), disorderly conduct (147,976 arrests), and drug abuse violations (139,776 arrests). The FBI data on arrests by race did not identify arrest rates by Hispanic origin.

TABLE 10.4
Arrests of juveniles by race, 2005
[10,971 agencies; 2005 estimated population 217,692,433]
Offense charged Arrests under 18 Percent distributiona
Total White Black American Indian or Alaskan Native Asian or Pacific Islander Total White Black American Indian or Alaskan Native Alaskan Pacific Islander
aBecause of rounding, the percentages may not add to 100.0.
bViolent crimes are offenses of murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crimes are offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
Source: Adapted from "Table 43. Arrests by Race, 2005," in Crime in the United States 2005, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 2006, http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/data/table_43.html (accessed March 5, 2007)
    Total 1,570,282 1,059,742 469,382 20,490 20,668 100.0 67.5 29.9 1.3 1.3
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter9243974991810100.043.054.01.91.1
Forcible rape2,8511,8349693117100.064.334.01.10.6
Robbery21,4606,59814,48796279100.030.767.50.41.3
Aggravated assault44,84524,95118,942487465100.055.642.21.11.0
Burglary57,05438,28717,663565539100.067.131.01.00.9
Larceny-theft218,383149,75461,4073,1764,046100.068.628.11.51.9
Motor vehicle theft27,49914,79811,943349409100.053.843.41.31.5
Arson5,7874,5751,0766373100.079.118.61.11.3
    Violent crimeb70,08033,78034,897632771100.048.249.80.91.1
    Property crimeb308,723207,41492,0894,1535,067100.067.229.81.31.6
Other assaults181,114105,68471,4862,0631,881100.058.439.51.11.0
Forgery and counterfeiting3,0512,2597251849100.074.023.80.61.6
Fraud5,7963,7231,9813260100.064.234.20.61.0
Embezzlement849532293816100.062.734.50.91.9
Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing16,3058,9417,019146199100.054.843.00.91.2
Vandalism76,09659,34914,961955831100.078.019.71.31.1
Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc.32,94920,15412,161253381100.061.236.90.81.2
Prostitution and commercialized vice1,200501670920100.041.855.80.81.7
Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution)11,9798,5343,226110109100.071.226.90.90.9
Drug abuse violations139,77696,20741,0761,3011,192100.068.829.40.90.9
Gambling1,4631061,34908100.07.292.20.00.5
Offenses against the family and children3,8503,0427148014100.079.018.52.10.4
Driving under the influence12,58411,744502223115100.093.34.01.80.9
Liquor laws91,80084,1074,3222,535836100.091.64.72.80.9
Drunkenness11,40110,12295123098100.088.88.32.00.9
Disorderly conduct147,97687,64057,3311,8891,116100.059.238.71.30.8
Vagrancy3,4162,7026761226100.079.119.80.40.8
All other offenses (except traffic)264,643190,24167,2213,4293,752100.071.925.41.31.4
Suspicion40025314421100.063.336.00.50.3
Curfew and loitering law violations103,88664,88136,9288761,201100.062.535.50.81.2
Runaways80,94557,82618,6601,5342,925100.071.423.11.93.6

DISPOSITION OF JUVENILES ARRESTED

Ann L. Pastore and Kathleen Maguire report in Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics (2003, http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/pdf/t4262004.pdf) that in the 1970s a change occurred in the disposition of arrested juveniles. Statistics for 1972 show that 50.8% of arrested minors were referred to juvenile court, 45% were handled within the police department and then released, and 1.3% were referred to criminal or adult court. In other words, almost half of all arrested juveniles were not formally charged with offenses in either juvenile or criminal court. From 1972 to 2000, however, those referred to juvenile court increased 20%, whereas those handled internally and then released dropped nearly 25%. The percentage of juvenile cases referred to criminal or adult court rose to 7%.

By 2005, 20.2% of arrested juveniles were released after being handled internally within the department, 70.7% were referred to juvenile court jurisdiction, and 7.4% were referred to criminal or adult court. (See Table 10.5.) Also included in Table 10.5 are statistics for the percentage of juveniles referred to a welfare agency (0.4%) and those referred to another police agency (1.3%). Statistics for city-residing juveniles are consistent with the overall totals. In urban areas more juveniles were handled within the department and released than overall (21.1% versus 20.2%), and fewer were referred to criminal or adult court (7% versus 7.4%).

TABLE 10.5
Police disposition of juvenile offenders taken into custody, 2005
[2005 estimated population]
Population group Totala Handled within department and released Referred to juvenile court jurisdiction Referred to welfare agency Referred to other police agency Referred to criminal or adult court Number of agencies 2005 estimated population
aIncludes all offenses except traffic and neglect cases.
bBecause of rounding, the percentages may not add to 100.0.
Source: Adapted from "Table 68. Police Disposition of Juvenile Offenders Taken into Custody, 2005," in Crime in the United States 2005, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 2006, http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/data/table_68.html (accessed March 5, 2007)
Total agencies: Number660,974133,664467,2882,4618,80848,7535,138120,999,116
Percentb100.020.270.70.41.37.4
Total cities: Number553,741116,983389,5131,9036,33039,0123,92685,869,567
Percentb100.021.170.30.31.17.0

Juveniles in Custody

The OJJDP classifies juveniles in residential placement into three categories: committed, detained, and under a diversion agreement. According to the OJJDP (2007, http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/ojstatbb/glossary.html), "Committed … includes juveniles in placement in the facility as part of a court-ordered disposition [and] those whose cases have been adjudicated and disposed in juvenile court and those who have been convicted and sentenced in criminal court. Detained … includes juveniles held prior to adjudication while awaiting an adjudication hearing in juvenile court, as well as juveniles held after adjudication while awaiting disposition or awaiting placement elsewhere…. Diversion … includes juveniles sent to the facility in lieu of adjudication as part of a diversion agreement."

Snyder and Sickmund note that of the 109,225 juvenile offenders in residential placement overall in 2003, 74% were committed, 25% were detained, and less than 1% were under diversion agreements. The largest group, committed, was sent to residential placement by juvenile courts. Those being detained were part of a transitory population—those awaiting hearings, awaiting the disposition of their cases, or awaiting transfer to a different type of facility. It is likely that some of the detained individuals were later sent to prison or jail. People in confinement under diversion agreements have entered detention voluntarily. In other words, the juvenile may have volunteered to go to a detention center to avoid going to juvenile court.

DETENTION

About one out of five juveniles are put in detention as their cases are processed in juvenile court. Detention may be used if the youth is judged to be a threat to the community, will be at risk if returned to the community, or may not appear at an upcoming hearing if released. Snyder and Sickmund report that the number of delinquency cases involving detention increased 42% between 1985 and 2002, from 234,600 to 329,800. The largest increase was for drug cases (140%), followed by crimes against people (122%), and public order cases (72%). The number of juveniles detained in property cases declined by 12% during this period. Figure 10.2 shows that the percent of juveniles who were detained for these cases fluctuated between 1985 and 2002 but did not experience much change overall.

Snyder and Sickmund find that the use of detention increased more for females than for males between 1985 and 2002 (87% and 34%, respectively). However, males continued to be more likely than females to be detained, despite the increase in the use of detention for female juvenile offenders. Likewise, the use of detention increased more for African-American youth between 1985 and 2002 (64%) than it did for white youth (32%). Although a larger number of white youth than African-American youth were detained, African-American youth were proportionately more likely than white youth to be detained. This disparity was greatest in drug cases—African-American youth were more than two times more likely than white youth to be detained for these offenses.

RESIDENTIAL PLACEMENT

Youths sentenced under the jurisdiction of juvenile courts could be generally confined in residential placement facilities. According to Snyder and Sickmund, 96,655 juvenile offenders were confined in public and private juvenile correctional, detention, and shelter facilities. (See Table 10.6.) Excluded from this category are juveniles in prisons and jails. Melissa Sickmund of the NCJJ finds in Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2002: Selected Findings (June 2006, http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/211080.pdf) that the number of juvenile offenders in custody decreased 7% between 2000 and 2002, probably because of the substantial decline in the number of juvenile arrests since the mid-1990s.

Sickmund reports that in 2002 group homes made up 38% of all facilities and held 12% of all juveniles in residential placement, reflecting their relatively small size; detention centers made up 26% of all facilities and held 40% of all juveniles in residential placement, reflecting these centers' relatively large size. Other types of residential facilities included shelters, diagnostic centers, boot camps, wilderness camps, and training schools. Six out of ten (60%) facilities were privately run; the rest were run by state or local government.

The OJJDP divides juvenile crimes into delinquency offenses and status offenses. Delinquency offenses are acts that are illegal regardless of the age of the perpetrator. Status offenses are acts that are illegal only for minors, such as truancy and running away. About 95% of juveniles in residential placement in 2003—91,831 out of a total of 96,655—were delinquents. (See Table 10.6.) The other 5% were status offenders (truants from school, noncriminal ordinances and rules violators, out-of-control youths, curfew violators, and runaways). According to Snyder and Sickmund, a third (34%) of juveniles in residential placement were held for offenses against people (homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated or simple assault), 28% were held for offenses against property (burglary, theft, auto theft, arson, or other property offenses), 8% were held for drug offenses, 10% were held for public order offenses, and 15% were held for technical violations.

The number of juveniles held in residential placement declined by 8% between 1997 and 2003. (See Table 10.6.) In a few cases, however, the number of juveniles held in residential placement increased. The number of juveniles held for sexual assault increased by 34%, the number held for simple assault increased by 22%, and the number held for underage drinking increased by 27%. The greatest decline (54%) was in the number of juveniles held for criminal homicide.

Sickmund notes that in 2002 states with the largest number of youth under twenty-one in residential facilities included California (17,294), Florida (8,508), Texas (8,371), Pennsylvania (5,080), Ohio (4,480), and New York (4,455). These five states housed 47% of all juveniles in residential detention. States with the smallest number included Vermont (61), Hawaii (112), and New Hampshire (234). However, such data need to be considered in relation to the size of the population of these states; the rate of juvenile offenders in custody per 100,000 youth measures the likelihood of juvenile incarceration by state. In 2002 the states with the highest juvenile custody rates included Wyoming (688 per 100,000 youth), South Dakota (640 per 100,000 youth), the District of Columbia (599 per 100,000 youth), Louisiana (496 per 100,000 youth), and Florida (473 per 100,000 youth).

DEMOGRAPHICS OF THOSE IN RESIDENTIAL PLACEMENT

According to Snyder and Sickmund, in 2003 juvenile detention facilities were home to a disproportionately larger number of males (85%) than females (15%), although the proportion of females had increased slightly from 13% in 1991. Of the males in confinement, more than one-third (35%) had committed offenses against people and 29% had committed property offenses. Females were less likely to commit person offenses (30%) and property offenses (21%) than males were. Proportionally, among person offenses, females were more likely to commit simple assault than males (14% and 7%, respectively), but far less likely to commit sexual assault (1% and 9%, respectively). Among property offenses, a larger proportion of males were being held for burglary (12%) than were females (5%). Females were substantially more likely to be held for status offenses (13%) than were males (4%), including ungovernability (5% of females and 1% of males), running away (5% of females and 0% of males), and truancy (2% of females and 1% of males). However, the proportion of female status offenders dropped from 33% in 1991 to 13% in 2003.

Snyder and Sickmund also report that in 2003, 61% of juveniles in custody nationwide were members of minority groups. More than a third of offenders in custody were African-American (38%), 19% were Hispanic, 2% were Native American, and 2% were Asian. About four out of ten (39%) juveniles in custody were non-Hispanic white. Another 1% fell into the other category, which includes those of multiple races. Snyder and Sickmund also provide data on the number of detained juveniles per 100,000 juveniles in the general population for each of the racial/ethnic categories, except the other category. The custody rate for African-American juveniles was highest (754 per 100,000 youth), followed by Native American juveniles (496 per 100,000 youth) and Hispanic juveniles (348 per 100,000 youth). The rate was relatively low for white juveniles (190 per 100,000 youth) and Asian juveniles (113 per 100,000 youth).

TABLE 10.6
Juvenile offenders in residential placements by offense, 2003
Most serious offense Juvenile offenders in residential placement, 2003 Percent change 1997–2003
Type of facility Type of facility
All Public Private All Public Private
*Percent change is based on a denominator less than 100.
Note: Total includes juvenile offenders held in tribal facilities.
Source: Howard N. Snyder and Melissa Sickmund, "In 2003, Public Facilities Held 64,662 Delinquents and Private Facilities Held 27,059 Delinquents on the 2003 Census Date," in Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2006, http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ojstatbb/nr2006/downloads/NR2006.pdf (accessed March 2, 2006)
    Total offenders 96,655 66,210 30,321  28% 212%   3%
Delinquency 91,83164,66227,059 −7−12 11
Person33,19723,4999,671 −6−13 21
    Criminal homicide87880373−54−56−28
    Sexual assault7,4524,7492,698 34 20 68
    Robbery6,2305,1571,073−33−35−22
    Aggravated assault7,4955,7451,741−21−24 −7
    Simple assault8,1064,9843,113 22 21 25
    Other person3,0362,061973 38 22 87
Property26,84318,7408,073−16−18−10
    Burglary10,3997,4812,904−17−21 −7
    Theft5,6503,7931,848−22−26−12
    Auto theft5,5723,7561,812−15−14−16
Arson735514220−19−25  0
    Other property4,4873,1961,289 −4 −4 −6
Drug8,0024,8513,137−12−23 15
    Drug trafficking1,8101,284522−37−41−24
    Other drug6,1923,5672,615  0−14 28
Public order9,6546,7822,866  0 −5 11
    Weapons3,0132,346665−28−29−24
    Other public order6,6414,4362,201 20 16 29
Technical violation14,13510,7903,312 14  5 56
Status offense4,8241,5483,262−29−11−36
    Ungovernability1,8252531,570−36−45−34
    Running a way997417577−33−14−43
    Truancy841207634−37−49−32
    Curfew violation20365138  5−18* 21
    Under age drinking405210186 27 86−10
    Other status offense553396157−14 98−64

Incarcerated Juveniles

In Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear, 2005 (May 2005, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/pjim05.pdf), Paige M. Harrison and Allen J. Beck of the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate that 6,759 juveniles were in prison or jail in 2005. According to Snyder and Sickmund, in 2004 youth aged seventeen and younger accounted for about 1% of all jail inmates; an estimated 7,083 youth were held in adult jails on June 30, 2004. The number of juveniles being held in state prisons had declined from 5,309 in 1995 to a low of 2,266 in 2005. (See Table 10.7.)

Of the 2,266 juveniles in state prisons as of mid-2005, 2,175 (or 96%) were male. (See Table 10.7.) This figure represents a drop of 1,546 male juveniles since 2000. Although females were a small percentage of the juveniles incarcerated in state prison each year during this period, their numbers decreased as well, from 175 in 2000 to 91 in 2005. Overall, the number of juveniles in state prison dropped by 3,043 from 2000 to 2005.

Six states claimed more than 100 juvenile inmates in mid-2005—Connecticut (383), New York (223), Florida (185), North Carolina (169), Texas (167), and South Carolina (120). (See Table 10.8.) Between 2004 and 2005 Connecticut saw a 19.3% increase in juveniles in state prison, and South Carolina saw a 5.3% increase. The other states saw a decrease, with the largest decrease (20.5%) being in Texas. Three states reported no juvenile inmates in state prisons and another nineteen states reported having ten or fewer juvenile inmates in state prison in 2005.

TABLE 10.7
Number of inmates under age 18 held in state prisons, by gender, 1995, and 2000–05
Year Inmates under age 18
Total Male Female
—Not available.
Source: Paige M. Harrison and Allen J. Beck, "Table 5. Number of Inmates under Age 18 Held in State Prisons, by Gender, June 30, 1995, and 2000–05," in Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, May 2006, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/pjim05.pdf (accessed March 5, 2006)
20052,2662,17591
20042,4852,375110
20032,7412,627114
20023,0382,927111
20013,1473,010137
20003,8963,721175
19955,309
TABLE 10.8
States with the highest number of prisoners under age 18, midyear 2004–05
Number of prisoners under age 18 Percent change
6/30/05 6/30/04
*Includes local jail inmates under age 18.
Source: Paige M. Harrison and Allen J. Beck, "Number of State Inmates under Age 18 Continues to Decline," in Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, May 2006, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/pjim05.pdf (accessed March 5, 2006)
Connecticut*383321 19.3%
New York223225 −0.9
Florida185214−13.6
North Carolina169192−12.0
Texas167210−20.5
South Carolina120114  5.3
TABLE 10.9
Number of sentenced prisoners under state or federal jurisdiction, by gender, race, Hispanic origin, and age, 2005
Age Number of sentenced prisoners
Males Females
Totala Whiteb Blackb Hispanic Totala Whiteb Blackb Hispanic
Note: Based on estimates by gender, race, Hispanic origin, and age from the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities and updated from jurisdiction counts by gender at yearend 2005. Estimates were rounded to the nearest 100.
aIncludes American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, and persons identifying two or more races.
bExcludes Hispanics and persons identifying two or more races.
Source: Paige M. Harrison and Allen J. Beck, "Table 10. Number of Sentenced Prisoners under State or Federal Jurisdiction, by Gender, Race, Hispanic Origin, and Age, Yearend 2005," in Prisoners in 2005, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2006, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/p05.pdf (accessed March 5, 2007)
   Total 1,362,500 459,700 547,200 279,000 98,600 45,800 29,900 15,900
18-1926,3007,20011,8005,6001,200500400200
20-24218,70062,70094,20050,40011,9005,3003,6002,300
25-29244,80067,000106,60059,60015,3006,7004,7002,900
30-34224,20069,80092,00051,10017,4008,1005,1002,900
35-39207,20072,30081,60041,60019,4009,0006,0003,000
40-44185,20070,90071,00031,60016,5007,8005,1002,400
45-54189,80076,30071,10029,50013,8006,5004,3001,800
55 or older63,50032,90017,6009,0003,0001,800700300

In the fact sheet "Youth under Age 18 in the Adult Criminal Justice System" (June 2006, http://www.nccd-crc.org/nccd/pubs/2006may_factsheet_youthadult.pdf), Christopher Harney of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency reports that both the number of juveniles being admitted to state prisons and the proportion of people under age eighteen in prisons have been dropping since the mid-1990s. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of these youth have been convicted of a violent offense. However, Harney points out that "the practice of sentencing youth as adults most seriously impacts African American, Latino, and Native American youth" and that juveniles convicted in the adult system receive little or no rehabilitative programming and are more likely to recidivate (go back to criminal behavior) than youth convicted of similar offenses in the juvenile system.

Recent breakdowns of juveniles in state and federal prisons by race are not available. However, among the 27,500 (26,300 male and 1,200 female) imprisoned young adults aged eighteen to nineteen in 2005, 12,200 (11,800 male and 400 female) were African-American (44%), 7,700 (7,200 male and 500 female) were white (28%), and 5,800 (5,600 males and 200 females) were Hispanic (21%). (See Table 10.9.) Of those who were eighteen to nineteen years old in 2005, the rate of incarceration for African-Americans was 1,920 per 100,000 males and 61 per 100,000 females; for Hispanics the rate was 791 per 100,000 males and 38 per 100,000 females; and for whites the rate was 274 per 100,000 males and 20 per 100,000 females. (See Table 10.10.)African-American juveniles have a much higher rate of incarceration than do white juveniles.

TABLE 10.10
Number of sentenced prisoners under state or federal jurisdiction per 100,000 residents, by gender, race, Hispanic origin, and age, 2005
Age Number of sentenced prisoners per 100,000 residents
Males Females
Totala Whiteb Blackb Hispanic Totala Whiteb Blackb Hispanic
Note: Based on estimates of the U.S resident population on January 1, 2006, by gender, race, Hispanic origin, and age. Detailed categories exclude persons identifying with two or more races.
aIncludes American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, and persons identifying two or more races.
bExcludes Hispanics and persons identifying two or more races.
Source: Paige M. Harrison and Allen J. Beck, "Table 11. Number of Sentenced Prisoners under State or Federal Jurisdiction per 100,000 Residents, by Gender, Race, Hispanic Origin, and Age, Yearend 2005," in Prisoners in 2005, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2006, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/p05.pdf (accessed March 5, 2007)
   Total 929 471 3,145 1,244 65 45 156 76
18-196192741,92079129206138
20-242,0169486,3452,49311885248137
25-292,3421,0988,0822,618153113339158
30-342,2341,1727,7262,450177138391165
35-391,9531,0676,6302,255185134435184
40-441,6419235,4721,975145102345164
45-548994933,1361,327634116385
55 or older208135697416861913

JUVENILES IN JAIL

Between 1995 and 2005 the number of juveniles in local jails fell from 7,800 to 6,759, for a decrease of 13%. (See Table 10.11.) In 2005, 5,750 of 6,759 juveniles held in local jails were being held as adults (85%), whereas 1,009 were being held as juveniles (15%). In 1995 a smaller proportion of juveniles in local jails were being held as adults (76%, or 5,900)—meaning they were either being held for trial in adult criminal court or they had been convicted as adults. Even though the number of juveniles being held in local jails had declined between 1995 and 2005, the overall number of inmates had actually risen from 507,044 in 1995 to 747,529 in 2005, for an increase of 47%.

IMPRISONING ADULTS AND JUVENILES TOGETHER

A number of human rights organizations and juvenile justice groups point out the risks associated with incarcerating juveniles with adults. Among the chief concerns is that being held with hardened adult prisoners will likely cause youth offenders to become more violent, more tough, and repeat offenders. Instead of rehabilitation and education, such juveniles will be subjected to more physical and sexual abuse and violence, increasing their likelihood of showing violent tendencies when they eventually return to society.

In addition, youth in adult prisons and jails are vulnerable to violence. Amnesty International notes in Betraying the Young: Human Rights Violations against Children in the U.S. Justice System (November 20, 1998, http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGAMR510571998) that "youth in prison are notoriously a common target of sexual and physical assault by adult inmates." Vincent Schiraldi and Jason Zeidenberg of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, in The Risks Juveniles Face When They Are Incarcerated with Adults (1997, http://www.cjcj.org/pubs/risks/risks.html), echo this sentiment: "Young people slated to be placed in adult prisons and jails are more likely to be raped, assaulted, and commit suicide."

Organizations also point out that juveniles are exposed to attack not only by adult inmates but also by prison guards. Reasons for this can include the juveniles' small stature, lack of confidence, and inexperience at living confined with hardened criminals. Juveniles sometimes resort to suicide because they may give in to despair more quickly.

ADULT TIME FOR ADULT CRIME?

Although the public favored tougher penalties for juveniles in the 1990s, as juvenile crime decreases, these attitudes appear to be changing. The survey "New NCCD Poll Shows Public Strongly Favors Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment" (February 2007, http://www.nccd-crc.org/nccd/pubs/zogbyPR0207.pdf), which was conducted by Zogby International for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, finds that the American public supports rehabilitation and treatment for young people, not prosecution in adult criminal courts or incarceration in adult jails or prisons. Nine out of ten people surveyed believed this approach might help prevent crime in the future, and seven out of ten believed imprisoning juveniles in adult facilities would increase the likelihood that they would commit future crimes. Most people believed that youth should not be automatically transferred to adult court, but that such transfers should be handled on an individual basis.

Children and the Death Penalty

Until 2005 convicted criminals could be executed for crimes they committed as juveniles. Victor L. Streib of Ohio Northern University reports in The Juvenile Death Penalty Today: Death Sentences and Executions forJuvenile Crimes, January 1, 1973–February 28, 2005 (October 7, 2005, http://www.law.onu.edu/) that between 1973 and 2005 twenty-two offenders were executed for crimes they committed when they were younger than eighteen. The U.S. Supreme Court has considered many cases concerning the practice of executing offenders for crimes they committed as children. In Eddings v. Oklahoma (455 U.S. 104 [1982]) the Court found that a juvenile's mental and emotional development should be considered as a mitigating factor when deciding whether to apply the death penalty, noting that adolescents are less mature and responsible than adults and not as able to consider long-range consequences of their actions. In this case, the Court reversed the death sentence of a sixteen-year-old who had been tried as an adult.

TABLE 10.11
Average daily population and the number of men, women, and juveniles in local jails, midyear 1995, 2000, and 2004–05
1995 2000 2004 2005
Note: Data are for June 30. Detailed data for 1995 were estimated and rounded to the nearest 100.
aThe average daily population is the sum of the number of inmates in a jail each day for a year, divided by the total number of days in the year.
bJuveniles are persons held under the age of 18.
cIncludes juveniles who were tried or awaiting trial as adults.
Source: Paige M. Harrison and Allen J. Beck, "Table 9. Average Daily Population and the Number of Men, Women, and Juveniles in Local Jails, Midyear 1995, 2000, and 2004–05," in Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, May 2006, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/pjim05.pdf (accessed March 5, 2007)
Average daily populationa 509,828618,319706,242733,442
Number of inmates, June 30 507,044621,149713,990747,529
Adults499,300613,534706,907740,770
    Male448,000543,120619,908646,807
    Female51,30070,41486,99993,963
Juvenilesb7,8007,6157,0836,759
    Held as adultsc5,9006,1266,1595,750
    Held as juveniles1,8001,4899241,009

Subsequent Supreme Court rulings have further limited the application of the death penalty in cases involving juveniles. In Thompson v. Oklahoma (487 U.S. 815 [1988]), the Court found that applying the death sentence to an offender who had been fifteen years old at the time of the murder was cruel and unusual punishment, concluding that the death penalty could not be applied to offenders who were younger than sixteen. However, the following year the Court found in Stanford v. Kentucky (492 U.S. 361) that applying the death penalty to offenders who were age sixteen or seventeen at the time of the crime was not cruel and unusual punishment.

The Court was asked to reconsider this decision in 2005. In Roper v. Simmons (543 U.S. 551), the Court set aside the death sentence of Christopher Simmons by a vote of five to four, concluding that the "Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments forbid imposition of the death penalty on offenders who were under the age of 18 when their crimes were committed." Snyder and Sickmund note that few states applied death penalty provisions to juveniles at the time of the Roper decision, even though twenty states allowed juveniles to be sentenced to death under the law.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Crime Prevention and Punishment." Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's Youth. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 27 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Crime Prevention and Punishment." Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's Youth. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. (May 27, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3049400016.html

"Crime Prevention and Punishment." Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's Youth. 2008. Retrieved May 27, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3049400016.html

Crime Prevention and Punishment

Chapter 10: Crime Prevention and Punishment

CRIME PREVENTION
PUNISHMENT

CRIME PREVENTION

Over the years, politicians, law enforcement officials, teachers, parents, and other concerned citizens have examined countless ideas in an effort to decrease youth violence and crime, from holding parents responsible for their children's crimes to having after-school violence prevention programs. The continuing problem of youth crime has many people devoting significant time and resources to end the cycle of violence. A variety of programs have been implemented in the area of prevention, intervention, and suppression. Efforts are ongoing to determine the effectiveness of such programs. The following sections discuss laws that have been enacted as well as a variety of prevention programs, including community prevention programs, law enforcement prevention strategies, and school-based prevention programs, to try to prevent juvenile crime.

Laws Enacted to Prevent Juvenile Crime

HOLDING PARENTS RESPONSIBLE. Civil liability laws have held parents at least partly responsible for damages caused by their children for many decades. In addition, child welfare laws included actions against those who contributed to the delinquency of a minor. By the 1990s, in response to rising juvenile crime rates, communities and states passed tougher laws about parental responsibility. In Parent Liability Child's Act (2008, http://www.enotes.com/everyday-law-encyclopedia/parent-liability-child-s-act), the Encyclopedia of Everyday Law notes that some states now hold parents of delinquent youth criminally liable. However, other less stringent parental responsibility laws are more common. Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia require parents to pay court costs for their children adjudicated delinquent. Florida, Idaho, Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia require parents to pay the costs of caring for, treating, or detaining delinquent children. Idaho, Maryland, Missouri, and Oklahoma require parents to pay restitution to the victims of their children's crimes. Nine states hold parents criminally responsible for storing a loaded firearm in a place that allows minors access to it, and other states hold parents liable if they know their child possesses a firearm and do not confiscate it. The article Parental Civil Liability for Acts of Minor Children (August 4, 2008, http://www.lawserver.com/articles/parental-civil-liability-for-acts-of-minor-children) indicates that in about half the states, the family car doctrine holds parents responsible for any damage caused by a child driving the family car. These laws are meant to prevent or reduce delinquent behavior among juveniles.

Critics of parental liability state that victims are just looking for someone to blame. They assert that U.S. law usually holds people responsible for crimes only if they actively participate in the transmission of such acts. They believe that if standard rules of law are practiced, the prosecutor of a case should have to prove that the parents intended to participate in a crime to be found guilty. Samantha Harvell, Belen Rodas, and Leah Hendey of Georgetown University explain in Parental Involvement in Juvenile Justice: Prospects and Possibilities (November 8, 2004, http://www.crocus.georgetown.edu/reports/parental.involvement.pdf) that judges and probation officers believe parents should be more involved in legal proceedings against minors because they feel the relationship between the parent and child often contributes to delinquency. However, judges and probation officers remain somewhat reluctant to use parental sanctions. In fact, Cathy Keen notes in UF Study: Americans Give Mixed Reviews to Parental Responsibility Laws (University of Florida News, March 14, 2005) that a 2005 survey found that public support for parental responsibility laws was relatively low, and Eve M. Brank and Jodi Lane of the University of Florida find in Punishing My Parents (Criminal Justice Policy Review, vol. 19, no. 3, September 2008) that delinquent juveniles did not believe their parents should be held responsible for their crimes.

CURFEWS. To break the cycle of youth violence and crime, lawmakers in more than 1,000 jurisdictions have

enacted curfews in various cities, towns, and rural areas across the country. According to Arlen Egley Jr. and Aline K. Major of the National Youth Gang Center, in Highlights of the 2001 National Youth Gang Survey (April 2003, http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/fs200301.pdf), 62% of jurisdictions reporting gang problems used curfews or other ordinances aimed at keeping youth from congregating at night. Of those jurisdictions, 86% argued that such laws demonstrated at least some degree of effectiveness.

Most curfew laws work essentially the same way. They are aimed at restricting juveniles to their homes or property between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. weekdays. Such laws usually allow juveniles to stay out a little later on weekends. Exceptions are made for youth who need to travel to and from school, attend church events, or go to work at different times. Other exceptions include family emergencies or situations when juveniles are accompanied by their parents.

Even though many people believe curfews are important in the fight against youth crime, critics of curfew ordinances argue that such laws violate the constitutional rights of children and their parents. They contend that the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights of people are endangered by curfew laws, especially the rights of free speech and association, privacy, and equal protection. Opponents also assert that no studies have proven curfew laws to be effective. In fact, most studies show that curfews have little effect on youth crime, such as Angie Schwartz and Lucy Wang's Proliferating Curfew Laws Keep Kids at Home, but Fail to Curb Juvenile Crime (National Center for Youth Law, vol. 26, no. 1, JanuaryMarch 2005), Caterina Grovis Roman and Gretchen Moore's Evaluation of the Youth Curfew in Prince George's County, Maryland (March 11, 2003, http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/200520.pdf), and Kenneth Adams's The Effectiveness of Juvenile Curfews at Crime Prevention (Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 587, 2003).

Community Prevention and Intervention Programs

Prevention measures are programs aimed at keeping youth, particularly at-risk youth, from beginning a life of crime, joining gangs, or otherwise ending up in prison or jail. Intervention programs are designed to remove youth from gangs, criminal activities, and patterns of reckless behavior that would ultimately put the youth in prison or jail. Such programs typically include helping the individual build self-esteem, confidence, and socialization skills while offering education, recreation, and job skills assistance.

Even though this chapter examines a few of the types of programs available, hundreds of such programs exist throughout the United States, some at the national or state levels, but many at the local/community level. Many involve mentoringhaving adults and sometimes other students spend time with at-risk youth to help them explore alternatives to violence and crime. Mentoring programs take on a variety of activities, including sports, recreation, and education. Mentors help their subjects gain self-esteem, conflict resolution abilities, peer pressure resistance skills, and confidence.

Many prevention and intervention programs have seen some success with delinquent and at-risk youth, as noted by individuals who credit such groups with turning their lives around or keeping them from heading into a life filled with crime and violence. Other programs have proven to be ineffective. Those that succeed provide alternatives to youth and often a safe place to hang out, make new friends, and learn life skills.

THE CHICAGO AREA PROJECT. Chicago, Illinois, like Los Angeles, California, has been home to many gangs throughout the twentieth century. In an effort to deal with the gang situation on the city's streets, the Chicago Area Project (CAP) was founded in 1934the nation's first community based delinquency prevention program. The program, designed by the sociologist Clifford R. Shaw (18951957), aimed to work with delinquent youth in poverty-stricken areas of Chicago. Project staff sought to prevent youth from joining gangs and ultimately committing crimes.

To achieve this, CAP advocates believed that improvements needed to be made to neighborhoods and communities. According to CAP (June 5, 2008, http://www.chicagoareaproject.org/about.html), The agency believes that residents must be empowered through the development of community organizations so that they can act together to improve neighborhood conditions, hold institutions serving the community accountable, reduce anti-social behavior by young people, protect them from inappropriate institutionalization, and provide them with positive models for personal development. The organization emphasizes that juvenile delinquency in low-income areas is a product of social disadvantagesnot a flaw of the individual child or of individuals from certain ethnic or racial backgrounds. As of 2008, CAP had grown to include more than 40 affiliates and special projects.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS OFAMERICA. Offering a variety of programs to help youth, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA; 2009, http://www.bgca.org/whoweare/) has worked with about 4.8 million children throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and U.S. military bases in the United States and abroad. In about 4,300 club locations, the group uses 50,000 trained, fulltime staff to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Law Enforcement Strategies

OFFICE OF JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION'S COMPREHENSIVE GANG MODEL. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) advocates the use of a comprehensive gang model developed by Irving A. Spergel to combat gangs. According to the National

Youth Gang Center, in Best Practices to Address Community Gang Problems: OJJDP's Comprehensive Gang Model, National Youth Gang Center (2007, http://www.iir.com/nygc/publications/gang-problems.pdf), the model includes five steps to help gang members and their communities. Steps include mobilizing the larger community to create opportunities or service organizations for gang-involved and at-risk youth; mobilizing outreach workers to connect with youth involved in gangs; creating academic, economic, and social opportunities for at-risk and gang-involved youth; using gang suppression activities and holding youth involved in gangs accountable for their actions; and helping community agencies problem-solve at a grassroots level to address gang problems. The model assumes that gang violence is a product of a breakdown in the larger community. According to the OJJDP, in OJJDP Model Programs Guide (2005, http://www.dsgonline.com/mpg2.5/mpg_index.htm), evaluations of programs based on the OJJDP model show mixed results, although negative results generally result from poor program implementation.

GANG RESISTANCE EDUCATION AND TRAINING. Hoping to reach students before they become involved in gangs and crime, uniformed police officers throughout the country visit middle schools to discuss the life consequences associated with such activities. The 13-part curriculum, which is offered through the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program, was initially created by the Phoenix (Arizona) Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in 1991. Because that pilot program met with success, GREAT has expanded to all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Among the topics presented are personal, resiliency, resistance, and social skills. The stated goals of the program are to help youth resist peer pressure, have positive attitudes toward law enforcement, learn ways to avoid violence, develop basic life skills, and set positive goals for the future. According to the article G.R.E.A.T. Middle School Component (2009, http://www.great-online.org/corecurriculum.htm), the GREAT curriculum for seventh graders educates students about gangs, violence, drug abuse, and crime; helps students recognize their responsibilities and learn how to make good decisions; fosters communication skills; and teaches anger management skills.

The effectiveness of GREAT training became the basis for a study conducted by Finn-Aage Esbensen and D. Wayne Osgood, who published their findings in Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT): Results from the National Evaluation (Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, vol. 36, no. 2, May 1999). Program participants were said to have developed more negative opinions about gangs and more positive attitudes about police. They also reported experiencing lower rates of victimizations, among other things.

SUPPRESSION PROGRAMS. Another method intended to reduce youth crime and violence is called suppression. This tactic is used by law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Suppression usually involves a show of force, such as saturating an area with many uniformed police officers. The idea is meant to demonstrate to criminals that they are being watched and that criminal activities will not be tolerated. Suppression techniques also include sweeps, where officers sweep through an area rounding up youth and adult offenders. Some suppression programs have proven to be somewhat effective, whereas others have not.

In some areas with high gang activity and violent youth crime, law enforcement personnel have tried suppression techniques. Suppression programs have been tested out in various cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston, Texas, among others.

The Houston Police Department Gang Task Force is just one example of the many units of this type operating throughout the United States. Working in conjunction with the Mayor's Anti-Gang Office (2009, http://www.houstontx.gov/publicsafety/antigang/index.html), the task force focuses on areas with high gang activity by providing a highly visible presence in an effort to lessen gang violence and crime. Initiatives aim to target, arrest, and incarcerate gang members involved in criminal activities. At the same time, the AntiGang Office works with communities, neighborhoods, service organizations, and schools to provide supportive services to at-risk youth, including counseling, job leads, conflict resolution, and recreation programs. The Mayor's Anti-Gang Office has also provided gang awareness training to individuals, including educators, law enforcement personnel, probation officers, and members of the public since 1994. The group makes use of high-tech devices, such as geomapping and tracking systems. These programs help staff keep track of gang locations as well as youth program assistance sites.

Bill White (1954), the mayor of Houston, reports in Houston Mayor White Oversees Gang Free Schools and Communities Project (April 10, 2006, http://www.usmayors.org/uscm/best_practices/usmayor06/HoustonBP.asp) that suppression is generally not successful alone. Houston provides an example of how suppression can be combined with other program elements, in that the Mayor's AntiGang Office uses suppression techniques as one element of the OJJDP's comprehensive gang model, a paradigm that utilizes five core strategies (community mobilization, provision of opportunities, social intervention, suppression, organizational change and development) to address gang issues within a targeted community.

SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS. The School Resource Officers (SROs) program is intended to improve relations between youth and police. The project, designed to prevent and intercept the commission of youth crime and violence, also gives students and police officers the chance to get to know one another. In some areas, children grow up with contempt for or fear of police. The SRO program works to

eliminate these concerns as well as to educate students about the law and provide one-on-one mentoring.

Under the program, a police officer is dispatched to a school as an SRO. The officer works to prevent crime, violence, and substance abuse; makes arrests if necessary during the commission of crimes; counsels students; and conducts classes about law enforcement and school safety. The program calls this the TRIAD concept (police officer, educator, and counselor). To participate as an SRO, candidates must complete a specialized training program. The SRO program is credited with helping reduce youth crime in schools and in the community.

Founded in 1990, the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO; 2008, http://www.nasro.org/membership.asp) has a national membership of over 9,000 officers. NASRO holds annual conferences and provides workshops for the SROs about various procedures, techniques, and prevention measures. The association also surveys its members to learn more about current issues affecting the SROs and schools. For example, Kenneth S. Trump of the National School Safety and Security Services notes in School Safety Left Behind? School Safety Threats Grow as Preparedness Stalls and Funding Decreases: NASRO 2004 National School-Based Law Enforcement Survey (February 2005, http://www.schoolsecurity.org/resources/2004%20NASRO%20Survey%20Final%20Report%20NSSSS.pdf) that over a third (37.4%) of the SROs believed that gang activity in their schools had increased, another third (38%) believed gang activity had remained the same, and only 8.4% believed gang activity had decreased.

School-Based Prevention Programs

STUDENTS AGAINST VIOLENCE EVERYWHERE. After Alex Orange was shot and killed in Charlotte, North Carolina, while trying to stop a fight in 1989, his classmates at West Charlotte High School decided to organize the group Students against Violence Everywhere (SAVE). SAVE (2007, http://www.nationalsave.org/main/statistics.php) has grown far beyond Orange's high school; in 2007 it had 1,664 chapters with nearly 190,000 student members. The group is active in elementary, middle, and high schools across the United States. Members have their own colors: orange for Alex Orange and purple for peace and nonviolence.

The group focuses on violence prevention and on helping kids gain life skills, knowledge, and an understanding of the consequences of violence and crime. SAVE helps members overcome negative peer pressure situations through the development of positive peer interactions. It also plans safe activities, including cosponsorship of the National Youth Violence Prevention Campaign (2009, http://www.violencepreventionweek.org/). During the weeklong campaign participants spend each day focused on one aspect of violence prevention. For example, the first day seeks to promote respect and tolerance, and other days focus on anger management, conflict resolution, school and community safety, and unity.

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS IN SCHOOL. The Big Brothers Big Sisters program has been serving children for over 100 years. The organization provides one-on-one mentoring services to young people (aged five to 18) throughout the United States. Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks to help youth perform better at school, stay clear of drugs and alcohol, improve their relationships with others, and avoid lives of crime and violence. Under the main program, a child is paired with an adult who spends time with him or her several times each month on outings, which can include sports, recreation, visits to museums or parks, and so on. Through the experience, the Bigs help the Littles develop life skills, confidence, and self-esteem.

Big Brothers Big Sisters has also developed programs for school children. Through the group's outreach program, volunteers visit schools weekly to provide one-on-one mentoring to students needing help. In addition, high school students also gain experience mentoring elementary school children through the High School Bigs program. While helping older students develop skills working with children, the project helps younger children bond with teens closer to their own age and see that they, too, can grow up to lead a productive life. In Making a Difference in Schools: The Big Brothers Big Sisters School-Based Mentoring Impact Study (June 2007, http://www.ppv.org/ppv/publications/assets/220_publication.pdf), Carla Herrera et al. find that children in the program demonstrate eight positive academic outcomes in their first year of being matched with a mentor, including improved overall academic performance. With longer matches, children improved their expectation to attend college.

PUNISHMENT

Juvenile Justice

In Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report (March 2006, http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ojstatbb/nr2006/downloads/NR2006.pdf), Howard N. Snyder and Melissa Sickmund of the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) indicate that juvenile court generally has original jurisdiction in cases involving youth who are under the age of 18 when the crime was committed, when the youth is arrested, or when the offender is referred to the court. In 2004 37 states and the District of Columbia considered the oldest age for juveniles to be 17. Ten states (Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin) used 16meaning that youth aged 17 are under the jurisdiction of criminal courts. In Connecticut, New York, and North Carolina, the age was set at 15in other words, 16- and 17-year-olds are tried in criminal court.

When youth crime surged in the 1980s, many citizens called for changes in the juvenile justice system. According to Snyder and Sickmund, 45 states made it easier to transfer

juveniles from the juvenile justice system to the criminal justice system, 31 states made a wider variety of sentencing options for juveniles available, 47 states either changed or removed confidentiality provisions of the juvenile justice system, 22 states passed laws that enhanced the rights of victims of juvenile crime, and new programs for juveniles were developed in most states. As a result of these changes, more juveniles were tried as adults in the criminal justice system. Codes regulating state juvenile justice systems now tend to strike a balance between prevention/treatment goals and punishment rather than focusing mainly on rehabilitation.

If the court deems that it is in the interests of the juvenile and the public, juvenile courts in some states may retain jurisdiction over juvenile offenders past the ages discussed earlier. Thus, such courts can handle juvenile offenders until they turn 20 in 33 states and the District of Columbia. Snyder and Sickmund note that Florida uses age 21, Kansas uses age 22, and California, Montana, Oregon, and Wisconsin use age 24 as the cutoff. Extended jurisdiction, however, may be limited by legislation to specific crimes or certain juveniles. Hence, the question of who is considered a juvenile does not have one consistent, standard answer. In various states exceptions can be made to the age criteria. This is done so that juveniles can be tried as adults or to provide for procedures under which a prosecutor can decide to handle an offender as a juvenile or an adult.

DOES IT WORK? The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) notes in Crime in the United States, 2007 (September 2008, http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/index.html) that from 1998 to 2007 the number of juveniles arrested for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter dropped 23.4%, and juvenile arrests for most other violent crimes had also fallen. In 2007 only 753 juveniles were arrested for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, compared to 983 in 1996. As such, some public officials believe that efforts to reduce crime through adult sentencing are working. However, many experts attribute the murder rate decline to expanded after-school crime prevention programs, the decline of crack cocaine and violent gangs, and big-city police efforts to crack down on illegal guns.

Youth on Trial: A Developmental Perspective on Juvenile Justice (Thomas Grisso and Robert G. Schwartz, eds., 2000) discusses some of the problems in transferring juveniles to adult court. The authors note that juveniles have a harder time than adults when making knowing and intelligent decisions at many junctures in the criminal justice process. In particular, problems occur when waiving Miranda rights, which allow the juvenile to remain silent and talk to a lawyer before responding to questions posed by police. When a juvenile waives such rights, this can lead to much more serious consequences in adult court than in juvenile proceedings. The authors assert that questions must be raised regarding the juvenile's judgment, decision-making capacity, and impulse control as they relate to criminal culpability in adult proceedings. Researchers and experts in child development explain that before deciding if a youth can be held accountable as an adult for a particular offense, it is important to understand an adolescent's intellectual, social, and emotional development.

Juvenile Arrests

According to statistics maintained by the FBI, the property and violent crime arrest rate for juveniles aged 10 to 17 began to rise during the 1980s. As recorded in the FBI's Property Crime Index and its Violent Crime Index, arrests per 100,000 juveniles in that age bracket decreased for both property and violent crime from around 1980 to 1983. At that point, property crime arrests began a gradual increase, whereas violent crime started to surge in the late 1980s. Around 1995 arrest rates for both property crime and violent crime began to decrease, with violent crimes seeing the greatest reductions.

Between 1998 and 2007 the number of juveniles arrested for all crimes dropped 20.4%; during this same period arrests of adults increased by 0.5%. (See Table 10.1.) Arrests of juveniles for some offenses declined even more drastically. For example, arrests of juveniles for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter dropped 23.4%; for drunkenness, dropped 27.9%; for burglary, dropped 30.3%; for forcible rape, dropped 31.6%; and for motor vehicle theft, dropped 48.8%. Other offenses dropped much less. For example, arrests for drug abuse violations dropped by only 5.9%; for carrying or possessing weapons, by 7.8%; and for sex offenses other than rape and prostitution, by 15%. Arrests of juveniles for prostitution actually increased by 5.7% during this period and arrests for robbery increased by 6%.

In Crime in the United States, 2007, the FBI reports that 8.1 million arrests were made nationwide in 2007, a decrease of 3.3% from 1998. In 2007, 15% of all people arrested were juveniles and 85% were adults. Adults were most often arrested for drug abuse violations (923,759 arrests), whereas juveniles were most often arrested for larceny-theft (175,561 arrests). Adults were proportionally more likely to be arrested for violent crime than were juveniles, whereas juveniles were more likely to be arrested for property crime. In 2007, 84% of arrests for violent crime were arrests of adults; however, only 74% of arrests for property crime were of adults.

ARRESTS AMONG SPECIFIC AGE GROUPS. The FBI also records in Crime in the United States, 2007 arrest rate statistics for specific age groups: under age 15, under age 18, under age 21, and under age 25. Even though 15.4% of all people arrested were juveniles in 2007, almost half (44.4%) of all people arrested were under the age of 25, highlighting that crime is often perpetrated by young adults, rather than juveniles.(See Table 10.2.) These statistics also show what crimes are more likely to be committed by juveniles as opposed to young adults. The table compares the number of arrests for these four age groups against the total number of arrests for all ages in 2007. For each

 
TABLE 10.1 Ten-year arrest trends, 19982007
[7,946 agencies; 2007 estimated population 171,876,948; 1998 estimated population 154,013,711]
Offense charged Number of persons arrested
Total all ages Under 18 years of age 18 years of age and over
1998 2007 Percent change 1998 2007 Percent change 1998 2007 Percent change
a Does not include suspicion.
b Violent crimes are offenses of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robber y, and aggravated assault. Property crimes are offenses of burglar y, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
*Less than one-tenth of 1 percent.
SOURCE: Table 32. Ten-Year Arrest Trends: Totals, 19982007, in Crime in the United States, 2007, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 2008, http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_32.html (accessed November 11, 2008)
Totala 8,397,065 8,118,197 -3.3 1,527,681 1,215,839 -20.4 6,869,384 6,902,358 +0.5
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 8,232 7,301 -11.3 983 753 -23.4 7,249 6,548 -9.7
Forcible rape 17,148 13,212 -23.0 2,975 2,034 -31.6 14,173 11,178 -21.1
Robbery 68,353 72,355 +5.9 18,439 19,550 +6.0 49,914 52,805 +5.8
Aggravated assault 290,851 257,464 -11.5 42,358 33,314 -21.4 248,493 224,150 -9.8
Burglary 195,696 182,552 -6.7 70,171 48,903 -30.3 125,525 133,649 +6.5
Larceny-theft 791,085 689,037 -12.9 258,540 175,561 -32.1 532,545 513,476 -3.6
Motor vehicle theft 80,925 62,766 -22.4 29,882 15,289 -48.8 51,043 47,477 -7.0
Arson 10,055 9,094 -9.6 5,407 4,391 -18.8 4,648 4,703 +1.2
Violent crimeb 384,584 350,332 -8.9 64,755 55,651 -14.1 319,829 294,681 -7.9
Property crimeb 1,077,761 943,449 -12.5 364,000 244,144 -32.9 713,761 699,305 -2.0
Other assaults 768,038 754,280 -1.8 138,780 138,795 * 629,258 615,485 -2.2
Forgery and counterfeiting 67,870 58,832 -13.3 4,250 1,699 -60.0 63,620 57,133 -10.2
Fraud 213,800 147,985 -30.8 6,066 4,480 -26.1 207,734 143,505 -30.9
Embezzlement 11,115 14,065 +26.5 1,018 1,072 +5.3 10,097 12,993 +28.7
Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing 78,371 72,904 -7.0 19,869 13,230 -33.4 58,502 59,674 +2.0
Vandalism 173,617 168,815 -2.8 75,418 64,927 -13.9 98,199 103,888 +5.8
Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc. 109,533 106,080 -3.2 26,395 24,328 -7.8 83,138 81,752 -1.7
Prostitution and commercialized vice 50,082 39,081 -22.0 743 785 +5.7 49,339 38,296 -22.4
Sex offenses (except for cible rape and prostitution) 52,527 45,871 -12.7 9,531 8,106 -15.0 42,996 37,765 -12.2
Drug abuse violations 878,355 1,033,203 +17.6 116,352 109,444 -5.9 762,003 923,759 +21.2
Gambling 5,067 3,289 -35.1 495 360 -27.3 4,572 2,929 -35.9
Offenses against the family and children 85,823 71,305 -16.9 5,765 3,095 -46.3 80,058 68,210 -14.8
Driving under the influence 803,030 788,864 -1.8 11,917 9,867 -17.2 791,113 778,997 -1.5
Liquor laws 375,009 332,231 -11.4 94,257 74,948 -20.5 280,752 257,283 -8.4
Drunkenness 468,796 410,583 -12.4 15,964 11,518 -27.9 452,832 399,065 -11.9
Disorderly conduct 387,534 358,428 -7.5 101,767 104,380 +2.6 285,767 254,048 -11.1
Vagrancy 17,994 16,388 -8.9 1,805 2,719 +50.6 16,189 13,669 -15.6
All other offenses (except traffic) 2,185,863 2,267,145 +3.7 266,238 207,224 -22.2 1,919,625 2,059,921 +7.3
Suspicion 3,463 1,299 -62.5 903 255 -71.8 2,560 1,044 -59.2
Cur few and loitering law violations 104,976 73,217 -30.3 104,976 73,217 -30.3
Runaways 97,320 61,850 -36.4 97,320 61,850 -36.4

offense, it presents the number of actual arrests for each age group as well as what percentage of total arrests falls within each age group.

A high percentage does not necessarily indicate a high number of arrests in a category. Instead, it means that age group was responsible for a high percentage of arrests within that category. For example, 147,382 individuals under the age of 18 were arrested on drug abuse violations, which was 10.6% of the total arrests in that category. For comparison, 16,889 people under the age of 18 were arrested for buying, receiving, and possessing stolen property. Even though the number of stolen property offenses is far less than that of drug abuse violations for those under the age of 18, it represented 18.3% of the total arrests for stolen property. Such percentages help law enforcement personnel identify trends and patterns in juvenile crime.

Two categories that consistently had high arrest percentages among each of the four age groups presented in Table 10.2 were arson and vandalism. Two-thirds of arrests for each of these crimes (66.5% and 67%, respectively) were of young adults under the age of 25. Of the 11,451 arrests for arson in 2007, 28% were of youth under age 15, 47.4% were of juveniles under age 18, and 58.3% were of people under age 21. Vandalism was less associated with the youngest juveniles. Of the 221,040 people arrested for vandalism in 2007, 15.5% were under age 15, 38.3% were under age 18, and 54% were under age 21.

Other categories with the highest arrest percentages for those under the age of 15 include disorderly conduct (10.7%), larceny-theft (7.9%), sex offenses, except forcible rape and prostitution (8.9%), and burglary (8.1%). (See Table 10.2.) The under-age-15 group also scored high in two other

 
TABLE 10.2 Arrests of persons under 15, 18, 21, and 25 years of age, 2007
[11,936 agencies; 2007 estimated population 225,518,634]
Offense charged Total all ages Number of persons arrested Percent of total all ages
Under 15 Under 18 Under 21 Under 25 Under 15 Under 18 Under 21 Under 25
a Violent crimes are offenses of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crimes are offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
b Less than one-tenth of 1 percent.
SOURCE: Table 41. Arrests of Persons under 15, 18, 21, and 25 Years of Age, 2007, in Crime in the United States, 2007, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 2008, http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_41.html (accessed November 11, 2008)
Total 10,698,310 461,937 1,649,977 3,159,716 4,753,345 4.3 15.4 29.5 44.4
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 10,082 103 1,011 3,027 5,084 1.0 10.0 30.0 50.4
Forcible rape 17,132 914 2,633 4,988 7,433 5.3 15.4 29.1 43.4
Robbery 96,720 5,601 26,324 47,770 62,542 5.8 27.2 49.4 64.7
Aggravated assault 327,137 13,662 43,459 80,724 129,264 4.2 13.3 24.7 39.5
Burglary 228,846 18,589 61,695 103,648 134,198 8.1 27.0 45.3 58.6
Larceny-theft 897,626 71,314 229,837 370,731 478,160 7.9 25.6 41.3 53.3
Motor vehicle theft 89,022 4,917 22,266 37,083 50,174 5.5 25.0 41.7 56.4
Arson 11,451 3,204 5,427 6,676 7,614 28.0 47.4 58.3 66.5
Violent crimea 451,071 20,280 73,427 136,509 204,323 4.5 16.3 30.3 45.3
Property crimea 1,226,945 98,024 319,225 518,138 670,146 8.0 26.0 42.2 54.6
Other assaults 983,964 70,038 181,378 278,521 413,165 7.1 18.4 28.3 42.0
Forgery and counterfeiting 78,005 294 2,353 11,760 24,739 0.4 3.0 15.1 31.7
Fraud 185,229 886 5,690 22,358 47,593 0.5 3.1 12.1 25.7
Embezzlement 17,015 49 1,288 4,745 7,871 0.3 7.6 27.9 46.3
Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing 92,215 4,136 16,889 32,394 46,285 4.5 18.3 35.1 50.2
Vandalism 221,040 34,342 84,744 119,283 148,140 15.5 38.3 54.0 67.0
Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc. 142,745 10,577 33,187 58,664 83,152 7.4 23.2 41.1 58.3
Prostitution and commercialized vice 59,390 147 1,160 7,615 16,180 0.2 2.0 12.8 27.2
Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution) 62,756 5,574 11,575 18,399 25,403 8.9 18.4 29.3 40.5
Drug abuse violations 1,386,394 21,506 147,382 392,486 636,465 1.6 10.6 28.3 45.9
Gambling 9,152 226 1,584 3,510 5,013 2.5 17.3 38.4 54.8
Offenses against the family and children 88,887 1,237 4,205 10,005 20,422 1.4 4.7 11.3 23.0
Driving under the influence 1,055,981 398 13,497 107,733 311,920 b 1.3 10.2 29.5
Liquor laws 478,671 9,592 106,537 340,122 373,174 2.0 22.3 71.1 78.0
Drunkenness 451,055 1,400 12,966 54,066 128,759 0.3 2.9 12.0 28.5
Disorderly conduct 540,270 57,602 153,293 219,327 300,984 10.7 28.4 40.6 55.7
Vagrancy 25,631 904 2,924 5,775 8,296 3.5 11.4 22.5 32.4
All other offenses (except traffic) 2,948,031 69,448 284,096 625,448 1,088,202 2.4 9.6 21.2 36.9
Suspicion 1,589 78 303 584 839 4.9 19.1 36.8 52.8
Curfew and loitering law violations 109,815 28,949 109,815 109,815 109,815 26.4 100.0 100.0 100.0
Runaways 82,459 26,250 82,459 82,459 82,459 31.8 100.0 100.0 100.0

categories that are not applicable to those over age 18: curfew and loitering law violations and runaway arrests. A little more than a quarter (26.4%) of all arrests for curfew violations were of people under the age of 15, whereas 31.8% of arrests of runaways were of people under the age of 15. Arrests for murder (1%), fraud (0.5%), forgery and counterfeiting (0.4%), embezzlement (0.3%), drunkenness (0.3%), and prostitution (0.2%) were the least likely to be of children under the age of 15.

All arrests for curfew violations and of runaways were of youth under the age of 18. Besides arson and vandalism, arrests for disorderly conduct (28.4%), burglary (27%), larceny-theft (25.6%), motor vehicle theft (25%), and carrying and possessing weapons (23.2%) were particularly likely to be of youth under the age of 18. (See Table 10.2.) Arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol (1.3%), prostitution (2%), drunkenness (2.9%), forgery and counterfeiting (3%), fraud (3.1%), and offenses against the family and children (4.7%) were the least likely to be of youth under the age of 18.

Despite the overall decrease in arrests of juveniles, delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts nationwide increased by 46% between 1985 and 2005. (See Figure 10.1.) Between 1997 and 2005 the number of public order offense cases increased by 16%, drug law violation cases increased by 3%, and person offense cases increased by 4%. After big jumps between 1985 and 1997, property offense cases decreased 30% between 1997 and 2005.

ARRESTS BY GENDER. Young males were arrested in far greater numbers than young females between 1998 and 2007. However, juvenile female arrest rates grew proportionately in relation to arrests of young males, particularly in violent crime. In 1998 females represented 27% (412,694 out of a total of 1,527,681 juvenile arrests) of the juveniles arrested. (See Table 10.3.) By 2007 the percentage of juvenile arrests who were female had reached 29% (357,093 out of a total of 1,215,839 juvenile arrests). Even though arrests of both young males and young females decreased between 1998 and 2007, arrests of females decreased less. Arrests of males

 

under the age of 18 decreased by 23% over the decade, whereas arrests of females under the age of 18 decreased by only 13.5%. In some categories, female arrests increased while male arrests decreased.

For example, between 1998 and 2007 juvenile male arrests for aggravated assault dropped by 22.5%, whereas juvenile female arrests dropped by only 17.3%. (See Table 10.3.) Juvenile male arrests for other assaults dropped by 4.4%, whereas juvenile female arrests increased by 10.1%. Arrests of juvenile males for drug abuse violations dropped by 7.9%, whereas arrests of juvenile females for the same offenses increased by 5.9%. Arrests of juvenile males for driving while intoxicated decreased by 23.7%, but for juvenile females increased by 13.8%.

These male and female arrest trends among juveniles reflect to some degree changes in arrest trends among male and female adults. In Crime in the United States, 2007, the FBI reports that in 2007, 75.8% (6,150,145 out of a total of 8,118,197 arrests) of all arrests in the United States were of males (all ages). (See Table 10.3.) In that year, 81.7% (286,190 out of a total of 350,332 arrests) of people arrested for violent crime were male, whereas 66.4% (626,799 out of a total of 943,449 arrests) of those arrested for property crime were male. Between 1998 and 2007 the number of arrests of males dropped by 6.1%, whereas the number of arrests of females increased 6.6%.

According to the FBI's 10-year arrest trends, juvenile males and females engage in many of the same types of crimes. For example, the crime most frequently committed by both males and females was larceny-theft. Even though the numbers of arrests were down for both males and females in this category in 2007, males were arrested 100,043 times and females were arrested 75,519 times for larceny-theft. (See Table 10.3.) As such, juvenile males were responsible for 14.5% (100,042 out of a total of 689,037 arrests) of arrests for larceny-theft and juvenile females for 11% (75,519 out of 689,037). Together, juvenile offenders represented almost 25.5% (175,561 out of 689,037) of all larceny-theft arrests.

Other areas with high arrest rates of both juvenile males and females include other assaults, disorderly conduct, and drug abuse violations. Young males were arrested 91,986 times on other assault charges, whereas young females were arrested 46,809 times for that offense in 2007. (See Table 10.3.) Disorderly conduct resulted in 69,051 young males and 35,329 young females under the age of 18 being arrested, and drug abuse violations accounted for the arrests of 91,800 young males and 17,644 young females.

 
TABLE 10.3 Ten-year arrest trends by sex, 19982007
[7,946 agencies; 2007 estimated population 171,876,948; 1998 estimated population 154,013,711]
Offense charged Male Female
Total Under 18 Total Under 18
1998 2007 Percent change 1998 2007 Percent change 1998 2007 Percent change 1998 2007 Percent change
aDoes not include suspicion.
bViolent crimes are offenses of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robber y, and aggravated assault. Property crimes are offenses of burglar y, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
SOURCE: Table 33. Ten-Year Arrest Trends by Sex, 19982007, in Crime in the United States, 2007, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 2008, http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_33.html (accessed November 11, 2008)
Totala 6,550,864 6,150,145 -6.1 1,114,987 858,746 -23.0 1,846,201 1,968,052 +6.6 412,694 357,093 -13.5
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 7,342 6,519 -11.2 898 702 -21.8 890 782 -12.1 85 51 -40.0
Forcible rape 16,942 13,079 -22.8 2,914 2,005 -31.2 206 133 -35.4 61 29 -52.5
Robbery 61,410 64,004 +4.2 16,813 17,654 +5.0 6,943 8,351 +20.3 1,626 1,896 +16.6
Aggravated assault 234,040 202,588 -13.4 33,029 25,602 -22.5 56,811 54,876 -3.4 9,329 7,712 -17.3
Burglary 170,504 154,607 -9.3 62,217 42,872 -31.1 25,192 27,945 +10.9 7,954 6,031 -24.2
Larceny-theft 514,574 413,125 -19.7 169,452 100,042 -41.0 276,511 275,912 -0.2 89,088 75,519 -15.2
Motor vehicle theft 68,494 51,382 -25.0 24,689 12,701 -48.6 12,431 11,384 -8.4 5,193 2,588 -50.2
Arson 8,606 7,685 -10.7 4,832 3,880 -19.7 1,449 1,409 -2.8 575 511 -11.1
Violent crimeb 319,734 286,190 -10.5 53,654 45,963 -14.3 64,850 64,142 -1.1 11,101 9,688 -12.7
Property crimeb 762,178 626,799 -17.8 261,190 159,495 -38.9 315,583 316,650 +0.3 102,810 84,649 -17.7
Other assaults 593,042 560,655 -5.5 96,249 91,986 -4.4 174,996 193,625 +10.6 42,531 46,809 +10.1
Forgery and counter feiting 41,508 36,217 -12.7 2,754 1,146 -58.4 26,362 22,615 -14.2 1,496 553 -63.0
Fraud 114,751 82,340 -28.2 3,969 2,849 -28.2 99,049 65,645 -33.7 2,097 1,631 -22.2
Embezzlement 5,584 6,849 +22.7 575 618 +7.5 5,531 7,216 +30.5 443 454 +2.5
Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing 66,132 57,865 -12.5 17,289 10,809 -37.5 12,239 15,039 +22.9 2,580 2,421 -6.2
Vandalism 147,331 139,748 -5.1 66,314 56,177 -15.3 26,286 29,067 +10.6 9,104 8,750 -3.9
Weapons; carr ying, possessing, etc. 100,973 97,822 -3.1 24,048 21,999 -8.5 8,560 8,258 -3.5 2,347 2,329 -0.8
Prostitution and commercialized vice 20,745 11,485 -44.6 349 170 -51.3 29,337 27,596 -5.9 394 615 +56.1
Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution) 48,658 42,369 -12.9 8,870 7,450 -16.0 3,869 3,502 -9.5 661 656 -0.8
Drug abuse violations 723,435 833,941 +15.3 99,691 91,800 -7.9 154,920 199,262 +28.6 16,661 17,644 +5.9
Gambling 4,568 2,769 -39.4 479 347 -27.6 499 520 +4.2 16 13 -18.8
Offenses against the family and children 67,843 53,754 -20.8 3,648 1,885 -48.3 17,980 17,551 -2.4 2,117 1,210 -42.8
Driving under the influence 676,911 626,371 -7.5 9,849 7,513 -23.7 126,119 162,493 +28.8 2,068 2,354 +13.8
Liquor laws 294,553 242,820 -17.6 66,251 47,505 -28.3 80,456 89,411 +11.1 28,006 27,443 -2.0
Drunkenness 409,100 345,502 -15.5 13,056 8,697 -33.4 59,696 65,081 +9.0 2,908 2,821 -3.0
Disorderly conduct 293,691 261,327 -11.0 72,357 69,051 -4.6 93,843 97,101 +3.5 29,410 35,329 +20.1
Vagrancy 14,281 12,761 -10.6 1,505 1,917 +27.4 3,713 3,627 -2.3 300 802 +167.3
All other offenses (except traffic) 1,732,271 1,744,417 +0.7 199,315 153,225 -23.1 453,592 522,728 +15.2 66,923 53,999 -19.3
Suspicion 2,766 1,031 -62.7 686 189 -72.4 697 268 -61.5 217 66 -69.6
Cur few and loitering law violations 73,163 51,116 -30.1 73,163 51,116 -30.1 31,813 22,101 -30.5 31,813 22,101 -30.5
Runaways 40,412 27,028 -33.1 40,412 27,028 -33.1 56,908 34,822 -38.8 56,908 34,822 -38.8

Other crimes most frequently committed by young males and females in 2007 included liquor law violations (47,505 arrests for males and 27,443 arrests for females) and curfew and loitering law violations (51,116 arrests for males and 22,101 arrests for females). (See Table 10.3.) Males also saw high numbers of arrests for vandalism (56,177 arrests), whereas young females were arrested 34,822 times as runaways.

Despite the high number of juvenile crimes, arrest rates for youth under the age of 18 were down in many categories between 1998 and 2007. Young males experienced the greatest decline in the number of arrests for forgery and counterfeiting (down 58.4%), prostitution and commercialized vice (down 51.3%), motor vehicle theft (down 48.6%), and larceny-theft (down 41%). (See Table 10.3.) During this same period young female arrest rates dropped most for forgery and counterfeiting (down 63%), forcible rape (down 52.5%), and motor vehicle theft (down 50.2%). Arrests based on suspicion were down for both young males (down 72.4%) and young females (down 69.6%).

Over the decade juvenile arrests of males increased in only two categories: vagrancy (up 27.4%) and embezzlement (up 7.5%). (See Table 10.3.) By contrast, arrests of young females were up for vagrancy (up 167.3%), prostitution and commercialized vice (up 56.1%), disorderly conduct (up 20.1%), robbery (up 16.6%), other assaults (up 10.1%), drug abuse violations (up 5.9%), and embezzlement (up 2.5%).

ARRESTS BY RACE . African-Americans are disproportionately arrested in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau (April 30, 2008, http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2007-asrh.html) estimates that in 2007, the U.S. population was 66.3% non-Hispanic white, 12.9% African-American, 4.5% Asian-American, and 1% Native American or Alaskan Native. Hispanics, who can be of any race, represented 15.2% of the total population. In Crime in the United States, 2007, the FBI notes that two-thirds (69.7%) of all arrested individuals in 2007 were white, 28.2% were African-American, 1.3% were Native American or Alaskan Native, and 0.8% were Asian or Pacific Islander.

Arrested juveniles exhibited a similar racial distribution; 67% were white, 30.8% were African-American, 1.2% were Native American or Alaskan Native, and 1% were Asian or Pacific Islander 2007. (See Table 10.4.) Among juveniles, a particularly high proportion of those arrested for driving under the influence (93.1%), violation of liquor laws (91%), drunkenness (89.3%), vandalism (78.8%), vagrancy (77.6%), arson (76.4%), and offenses against the family and children (72.8%) were white. A particularly high proportion of those arrested for gambling (95.4%), robbery (67.8%), prostitution and commercialized vice (58%), and murder and nonnegligent manslaughter (57.4%) were African-American. The FBI data on arrests by race did not identify arrest rates by Hispanic origin.

DISPOSITION OF JUVENILES ARRESTED . Ann L. Pas-tore and Kathleen Maguire report in Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics (2003, http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/pdf/t4262004.pdf) that in the 1970s a change occurred in the disposition of arrested juveniles. Statistics for 1972 show that 50.8% of arrested minors were referred to juvenile court, 45% were handled within the police department and then released, and 1.3% were referred to criminal or adult court. In other words, almost half of all arrested juveniles were not formally charged with offenses in either juvenile or criminal court. From 1972 to 2000, however, those referred to juvenile court increased to 70.8%, whereas those handled internally and then released dropped to 20.3%. The percentage of juvenile cases referred to criminal or adult court rose to 7%. By 2007 only 19.5% of juveniles arrested were released after being handled internally within the department, 69.6% were referred to juvenile court jurisdiction, and 9.4% were referred to criminal or adult court. (See Table 10.5.) Also included in this table are statistics for the percentage of juveniles referred to a welfare agency (0.4%) and those referred to another police agency (1.2%).

Juveniles in Custody

The OJJDP classifies juveniles in residential placement into three categories: committed, detained, and under a diversion agreement. According to the OJJDP (2009, http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/ojstatbb/glossary.html), committed juveniles include those placed in the facility as part of a court-ordered disposition; detained juveniles include those held awaiting a court hearing, adjudication, disposition, or placement elsewhere; and voluntarily admitted juveniles include those in the facility as part of a diversion agreement.

Snyder and Sickmund note that of the 109,225 juvenile offenders in residential placement overall in 2003, 74% were committed, 25% were detained, and less than 1% were under diversion agreements. The largest group, committed, was sent to residential placement by juvenile courts. Those being detained were part of a transitory populationthose awaiting hearings, awaiting the disposition of their cases, or awaiting transfer to a different type of facility. It is likely that some of the detained individuals were later sent to prison or jail. People in confinement under diversion agreements have entered detention voluntarily. In other words, the juvenile may have volunteered to go to a detention center to avoid going to juvenile court.

DETENTION. About one out of five juveniles are put in detention as their cases are processed in juvenile court. Detention may be used if the youth is judged to be a threat to the community, will be at risk if returned to the community, or may not appear at an upcoming hearing if released. Snyder and Sickmund report that the number of delinquency cases involving detention increased 42% between 1985 and 2002, from 234,600 to 329,800. The largest increase was for drug cases (140%), followed by crimes against people (122%), and public order cases (72%). The number of juveniles detained in

 
TABLE 10.4 Arrests of juveniles by race, 2007
[11,929 agencies; 2007 estimated population 225,477,173]
Offense charged Arrests under 18 Percent distributiona
Total White Black American Indian or Alaskan Native Asian or Pacific Islander Total White Black American Indian or Alaskan Native Asian or Pacific Islander
aBecause of rounding, the percentages may not add to 100.0.
bViolent crimes are offenses of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robber y, and aggravated assault. Property crimes are offenses of burglar y, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
SOURCE: Adapted from Table 43. Arrests by Race, 2007, in Crime in the United States, 2007, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 2008, http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_43.html (accessed November 11, 2008)
Total 1,642,530 1,100,427 505,464 20,504 16,135 100.0 67.0 30.8 1.2 1.0
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 1,011 407 580 15 9 100.0 40.3 57.4 1.5 0.9
Forcible rape 2,617 1,610 966 24 17 100.0 61.5 36.9 0.9 0.6
Robbery 26,291 8,119 17,832 122 218 100.0 30.9 67.8 0.5 0.8
Aggravated assault 43,322 24,674 17,773 470 405 100.0 57.0 41.0 1.1 0.9
Burglary 61,523 40,236 20,176 605 506 100.0 65.4 32.8 1.0 0.8
Larceny-theft 228,699 152,143 70,212 2,966 3,378 100.0 66.5 30.7 1.3 1.5
Motor vehicle theft 22,227 12,191 9,426 339 271 100.0 54.8 42.4 1.5 1.2
Arson 5,397 4,123 1,148 49 77 100.0 76.4 21.3 0.9 1.4
Violent crimeb 73,241 34,810 37,151 631 649 100.0 47.5 50.7 0.9 0.9
Property crimeb 317,846 208,693 100,962 3,959 4,232 100.0 65.7 31.8 1.2 1.3
Other assaults 180,615 106,119 71,409 1,857 1,230 100.0 58.8 39.5 1.0 0.7
Forgery and counter feiting 2,341 1,699 596 21 25 100.0 72.6 25.5 0.9 1.1
Fraud 5,649 3,601 1,916 77 55 100.0 63.7 33.9 1.4 1.0
Embezzlement 1,287 753 498 10 26 100.0 58.5 38.7 0.8 2.0
Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing 16,809 9,203 7,302 127 177 100.0 54.8 43.4 0.8 1.1
Vandalism 84,298 66,406 16,058 1,062 772 100.0 78.8 19.0 1.3 0.9
Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc. 33,040 19,992 12,412 250 386 100.0 60.5 37.6 0.8 1.2
Prostitution and commercialized vice 1,156 473 670 9 4 100.0 40.9 58.0 0.8 0.3
Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution) 11,526 8,139 3,239 77 71 100.0 70.6 28.1 0.7 0.6
Drug abuse violations 146,785 101,152 43,343 1,295 995 100.0 68.9 29.5 0.9 0.7
Gambling 1,584 67 1,511 1 5 100.0 4.2 95.4 0.1 0.3
Offenses against the family and children 4,161 3,029 1,047 60 25 100.0 72.8 25.2 1.4 0.6
Driving under the influence 13,420 12,498 589 238 95 100.0 93.1 4.4 1.8 0.7
Liquor laws 105,799 96,286 5,466 2,965 1,082 100.0 91.0 5.2 2.8 1.0
Drunkenness 12,909 11,532 997 277 103 100.0 89.3 7.7 2.1 0.8
Disorderly conduct 152,817 87,683 62,490 1,602 1,042 100.0 57.4 40.9 1.0 0.7
Vagrancy 2,923 2,267 625 19 12 100.0 77.6 21.4 0.7 0.4
All other offenses (except traffic) 282,244 198,916 77,153 3,313 2,862 100.0 70.5 27.3 1.2 1.0
Suspicion 287 184 100 3 0 100.0 64.1 34.8 1.0 0.0
Cur few and loitering law violations 109,575 69,950 37,532 964 1,129 100.0 63.8 34.3 0.9 1.0
Runaways 82,218 56,975 22,398 1,687 1,158 100.0 69.3 27.2 2.1 1.4

property cases declined by 12% during this period. Figure 10.2 shows that the percent of juveniles who were detained for these cases fluctuated between 1985 and 2002, but did not experience much change overall.

Snyder and Sickmund find that the use of detention increased more for females than for males between 1985 and 2002 (87% and 34%, respectively). However, males continued to be more likely than females to be detained, despite the increase in the use of detention for female juvenile offenders. Likewise, the use of detention increased more for African-American youth between 1985 and 2002 (64%) than it did for white youth (32%). Even though a larger number of white youth than African-American youth were detained, African-American youth were proportionately more likely than white youth to be detained. This disparity was greatest in drug casesAfrican-American youth were more than two times more likely than white youth to be detained for these offenses.

RESIDENTIAL PLACEMENT . Youths sentenced under the jurisdiction of juvenile courts could be generally confined in residential placement facilities. In 2006, 92,854 juvenile offenders were confined in public and private juvenile correctional, detention, and shelter facilities. (See Table 10.6.) Excluded from this category are juveniles in prisons and jails. Sarah Livsey, Melissa Sickmund, and Anthony Sladky of the NCJJ find in Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2004: Selected Findings (January 2009, http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/222721.pdf) that the number of juvenile offenders in custody decreased 7% between 2002 and 2004, probably because of the substantial decline in the number of juvenile arrests since the mid-1990s.

The OJJDP divides juvenile crimes into delinquency offenses and status offenses. Delinquency offenses are acts that are illegal regardless of the age of the perpetrator. Status offenses are acts that are illegal only for minors, such as

 
TABLE 10.5 Police disposition of juvenile offenders taken into custody, 2007
[2007 estimated population]
Population group   Totala Handled within department and released Referred to juvenile court jurisdiction Referred to welfare agency Referred other to police agency Referred to criminal or adult court Number of agencies 2007 estimated population
aIncludes all offenses except traffic and neglect cases.
bBecause of rounding, the percentages may not add to 100.0.
cSuburban area includes law enforcement agencies in cities with less than 50,000 inhabitants and county law enforcement agencies that are within a metropolitan statistical area. Suburban area excludes all metropolitan agencies associated with a principal city. The agencies associated with suburban areas also appear in other groups within this table.
*Less than one-tenth of 1 percent.
SOURCE: Table 68. Police Disposition of Juvenile Offenders Taken into Custody, 2007, in Crime in the United States, 2007, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 2008, http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_68.html (accessed November 11, 2008)
Total agencies: Number 663,991 129,404 461,909 2,430 8,141 62,107 5,242 120,286,534
Percentb 100.0 19.5 69.6 0.4 1.2 9.4    
Total cities Number 560,393 117,588 387,512 1,775 7,098 46,420 3,937 87,798,925
Percentb 100.0 21.0 69.2 0.3 1.3 8.3    
Group I (250,000 and over) Number 138,954 41,670 94,226 20 604 2,434 37 25,796,709
Percentb 100.0 30.0 67.8 * 0.4 1.8    
Group II (100,000 to 249,999) Number 82,959 18,009 58,590 378 2,274 3,708 80 12,018,629
Percentb 100.0 21.7 70.6 0.5 2.7 4.5    
Group III (50,000 to 99,999) Number 105,992 19,497 76,429 414 1,295 8,357 234 15,972,903
Percentb 100.0 18.4 72.1 0.4 1.2 7.9    
Group IV (25,000 to 49,999) Number 75,606 12,211 53,794 254 1,671 7,676 360 12,405,704
Percentb 100.0 16.2 71.2 0.3 2.2 10.2    
Group V (10,000 to 24,999) Number 85,504 13,001 59,213 461 688 12,141 793 12,642,471
Percentb 100.0 15.2 69.3 0.5 0.8 14.2    
Group VI (under 10,000) Number 71,378 13,200 45,260 248 566 12,104 2,433 8,962,509
Percentb 100.0 18.5 63.4 0.3 0.8 17.0    
Metropolitan counties Number 81,552 8,543 59,834 493 879 11,803 636 24,275,366
Percentb 100.0 10.5 73.4 0.6 1.1 14.5    
Nonmetropolitan counties Number 22,046 3,273 14,563 162 164 3,884 669 8,212,243
Percentb 100.0 14.8 66.1 0.7 0.7 17.6    
Suburban areac Number 288,762 47,148 198,657 1,429 2,557 38,971 3,278 58,405,783
Percentb 100.0 16.3 68.8 0.5 0.9 13.5    

truancy and running away. Ninety-five percent (88,137 out of a total of 92,854) of juveniles in residential placement in 2006 were delinquents. (See Table 10.6.) The other 5% were status offenders (truants from school, noncriminal ordinances and rules violators, out-of-control youths, curfew violators, and runaways). Approximately 31,704 (34%) juveniles in residential placement were held for offenses against people (homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated or simple assault); 23,177 (25%) were held for offenses against property (burglary, theft, auto theft, arson, or other property offenses); 15,316 (16%) were held for technical violations; 9,944 (10%) were held for public order offenses; and 7,996 (9%) were held for drug offenses.

According to Melissa Sickmund, T. J. Sladky, and Wei Kang of the NCJJ, in Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement Databook (2008, http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ojstatbb/cjrp/), the states with the largest number of youth under the age of 21 in residential facilities in 2006 included California (15,240), Texas (8,247), Florida (7,302), Pennsylvania (4,323), New York (4,197), and Ohio (4,149). These six states housed 47% of all juveniles in residential detention. States with the smallest number included Vermont (54), Hawaii (123), and New Hampshire (189).

DEMOGRAPHICS OF THOSE IN RESIDENTIAL PLACEMENT . Sickmund, Sladky, and Kang state that in 2006 juvenile detention facilities were home to a disproportionately larger number of males (85%) than females (15%). Of the males in confinement, 35% had committed offenses against people and 26% had committed property offenses. Females were less likely to commit person offenses (29%) and property offenses (20%) than males were. Proportionally, females in detention were more likely to have committed simple assault than males were (13% and 7%, respectively), but far less likely to have committed sexual assault (1% and 9%, respectively). A larger proportion of males were being held for burglary (11%) than were females (4%). Females were substantially more likely to be held for status offenses (14%) than were males (4%), including incorrigibility (5% of females and 2% of males), running away (4% of females and 1% of males), and truancy (3% of females and 1% of males).

Sickmund, Sladky, and Kang also report that in 2006, 65% of juveniles in residential placement nationwide were members of minority groups. Forty percent of juvenile offenders in residential placement were African-American, 20% were Hispanic, 2% were Native American, and 1% were Asian-American. About one-third (35%) of juveniles

in custody were non-Hispanic whites. Minority groups were overrepresented in residential placements.

Incarcerated Juveniles

In Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2006 (June 2007, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/pjim06.pdf), William J. Sabol, Todd D. Minton, and Paige M. Harrison of the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate that 6,104 juveniles were in prison or jail in 2006. That same year 2,364 juveniles were held in state prisons, down significantly from 3,896 in 2000. (See Table 10.7.) Of the 2,364 juveniles in state prisons as of midyear 2006, 2,259 (96%) were male.

Christopher Harney of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency reports in Youth under Age 18 in the Adult Criminal Justice System (June 2006, http://www.nccd-crc.org/nccd/pubs/2006may_factsheet_youthadult.pdf) that both the number of juveniles being admitted to state prisons and the proportion of people under the age of 18 in prisons have been dropping since the mid-1990s. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of these youth have been convicted of a violent offense. However, Harney points out that the practice of sentencing youth as adults most seriously impacts African-American, Latino, and Native American youth and that juveniles convicted in the adult system receive little or no rehabilitative assistance and are more likely to recidivate (go back to criminal behavior) than youth convicted of similar offenses in the juvenile system.

 
TABLE 10.6 Juveniles in residential placement, by offense, 2006
Most serious offense Total
aIncludes criminal homicide, violent sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault.
bIncludes burglary, theft, auto theft, and arson.
Note: U.S. total includes 1,466 juvenile offenders in private facilities for whom state of offense was not reported and 124 juvenile offenders in tribal facilities.
SOURCE: Melissa Sickmund, TJ. Sladky, and Wei Kang, Detailed Offense Profile for United States, 2006, in Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement Databook, U.S. Department of Justice, Of fice of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2008, http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ojstatbb/cjrp/asp/State_Offense.asp (accessed November 14, 2008)
Total 92,854
Delinquency 88,137
Person 31,704
Criminal homicide 988
Sexual assault 6,792
Robbery 6,707
Aggravated assault 7,289
Simple assault 7,308
Other person 2,620
Property 23,177
Burglary 9,037
Theft 4,648
Auto theft 4,650
Arson 651
Other property 4,191
Drug 7,996
Trafficking 1,758
Other drug 6,238
Public order 9,944
W eapons 3,669
Alcohol 317
Other public order 5,958
Technical violation 15,316
Violent Crime Indexa 21,776
Property Crime Indexb 18,986
Status offense 4,717
Running away 894
Truancy 863
Ncorrigibility 1,917
Cur few violation 96
Underage drinking 524
Other status offense 423

Recent breakdowns of juveniles in state and federal prisons by race are not available. However, among 22,100 (20,200 male and 1,900 female) imprisoned young adults aged 18 to 19 in 2006, 9,300 (9,000 male and 300 female) were African-American (42%), 6,700 (6,300 male and 400 female) were non-Hispanic white (30%), and 5,100 (4,900 male and 200 female) were Hispanic (23%). (See Table 10.8.) Of those who were 18 to 19 years old in 2006, the rate of incarceration for African-American males was 1,454 per 100,000; for Hispanic males, 670 per 100,000; and for non-Hispanic white males, 236 per 100,000. (See Table 10.9.) African-American and Hispanic females also had higher rates of incarceration than non-Hispanic white females. African-American young adults have a much higher rate of incarceration than do white juveniles and young adults.

JUVENILESINJAIL . Between 2000 and 2006 the number of juveniles in local jails fell from 7,615 to 6,104, for a decrease of 20%. (See Table 10.10.) In 2006, 4,836 (79%) juveniles in local jails were being held as adultsmeaning they were either being held for trial in adult criminal court or they had been convicted as adultsand 1,268 were being held as juveniles (21%).

IMPRISONING ADULTS AND JUVENILES TOGETHER . Beginning in the 1990s American society experienced a moral panic about juvenile crime that Laurence Steinberg argues in Introducing the Issue (Future of Children, vol. 18, no. 2, Fall 2008) fueled get tough on crime policies that treated many juvenile offenders as adults. A number of human rights organizations and juvenile justice groups point out the risks associated with incarcerating juveniles with adults. Among the chief concerns is that being held with

 
TABLE 10.7 Number of inmates under age 18 held in state prisons, by gender, 200006
Year Total number in prison Male Female
SOURCE: William J. Sabol, Todd D. Minton, and Paige M. Harrison, Table 7. Number of Inmates under Age 18 Held in State Prisons, June 30, 20002006, in Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2006, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, June 2007, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/pjim06.pdf (accessed November 14, 2008)
2000 3,896 3,721 175
2001 3,147 3,010 137
2002 3,038 2,927 111
2003 2,741 2,627 114
2004 2,485 2,375 110
2005 2,208 2,118 90
2006 2,364 2,259 105

hardened adult prisoners will likely cause youth offenders to become more violent, more tough, and repeat offenders. Instead of rehabilitation and education, such juveniles are subjected to more physical and sexual abuse and violence, increasing their likelihood of showing violent tendencies when returning to society one day.

Youth in adult prisons and jails are more vulnerable to violence than they would be in juvenile-only facilities. The Campaign for Youth Justice notes in Jailing Juveniles: The Dangers of Incarcerating Youth in Adult Jails in America (November 2007, http://www.campaign4youthjustice.org/Downloads/NationalReportsArticles/CFYJ-Jailing_Juveniles_Report_2007-11-15.pdf) that youth are at a high risk of sexual assault while imprisoned in adult facilities. In 2005, 21% of all victims of sexual assault were juveniles, while only 1% of inmates were juveniles. The organization Act 4 Juvenile Justice notes in Youth in Adult Prisons (2005, http://www.act4jj.org/media/factsheets/factsheet_26.pdf) that juveniles are particularly vulnerable to physical and sexual assault at the hands of both prison staff and adult inmates because of their young age, emotional immaturity, and smaller size. In comparison to juveniles in juvenile-only facilities, those in adult facilities were twice as likely to suffer beatings by prison staff and 50% more likely to be attacked with a weapon. However, the Campaign for Youth Justice argues that merely isolating youth from adult offenders within adult prisons is not a viable answer, because such isolation puts youth at risk for mental illness. The organization notes that even limited exposure to such an environment can cause anxiety, paranoia, exacerbate existing mental disorders, and increase the risk of suicide. In fact, youth in adult prisons are 19 times more likely than youth in the general population to commit suicide; youth imprisoned in adult facilities are 36 times more likely than youth in juvenile detention centers to commit suicide.

 
TABLE 10.8 Number of sentenced prisoners under State or Federal jurisdiction, by gender, race, Hispanic origin, and age, 2006
Age group Malea Femalea
Totalb Whitec Blackc Hispanic Totalb Whitec Blackc Hispanic
Note: State sentenced prisoner counts are based on estimates by gender, race, Hispanic origin, and age from the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities and updated from jurisdiction counts by gender at yearend 2006. Federal sentenced prisoner counts are based on data from the BJS Federal Justice Statistics Program for September 30, 2006 and updated from jurisdiction counts at yearend 2006.
aSentenced prisoners are limited to those sentenced to more than 1 year.
bTotal includes American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, and persons identifying two or more races.
cExcludes Hispanics and persons identifying two or more races.
SOURCE: William J. Sabol, Heather Couture, and Paige M. Harrison, Appendix Table 7. Estimated Number of Sentenced Prisoners under State or Federal Jurisdiction, by Gender, Race, Hispanic Origin, and Age, Yearend 2006, in Prisoners in 2006, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, December 2007, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/p06.pdf (accessed November 11, 2008)
Total 1,399,100 478,000 534,200 290,500 103,100 49,100 28,600 17,500
1819 22,100 6,300 9,000 4,900 1,000 400 300 200
2024 197,500 58,500 77,500 46,600 11,500 5,400 2,900 2,400
2529 245,000 68,300 99,200 60,000 16,100 7,500 4,300 3,300
3034 227,700 68,200 90,900 53,200 17,200 8,200 4,700 3,000
3539 213,800 72,800 82,600 44,100 19,300 9,100 5,500 3,200
4044 197,600 75,100 74,100 35,000 17,900 8,700 5,200 2,500
4554 216,700 88,300 78,900 34,800 16,200 7,700 4,700 2,300
55 or older 76,500 40,100 21,100 11,500 3,700 2,200 800 500
 
TABLE 10.9 Number of sentenced prisoners under State or Federal jurisdiction per 100,000 residents, by gender, race, Hispanic origin, and age, 2006
Age group Malea Femalea
All malesb Whitec Blackc Hispanic All femalesb Whitec Blackc Hispanic
Note: Based on estimates of the U.S. resident population on January 1, 2007, by gender, race, Hispanic origin, and age. Detailed categories exclude persons identifying two or more races.
aSentenced prisoners are limited to those serving sentences of more than 1 year.
bIncludes American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, and persons identifying two or more races.
cExcludes Hispanics and persons identifying two or more races.
SOURCE: William J. Sabol, Heather Couture, and Paige M. Harrison, Appendix Table 8. Estimated Number of Sentenced Prisoners under State or Federal Jurisdiction per 100,000 Residents, by Gender, Race, Hispanic Origin, and Age, Yearend 2006, in Prisoners in 2006, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, December 2007, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/p06.pdf (accessed November 11, 2008)
Total 943 487 3,042 1,261 68 48 148 81
1819 515 236 1,454 670 23 15 44 31
2024 1,800 877 5,153 2,277 113 85 200 142
2529 2,302 1,103 7,384 2,573 159 122 304 179
3034 2,270 1,159 7,657 2,480 177 142 360 165
3539 1,997 1,071 6,685 2,326 183 135 399 194
4044 1,755 989 5,705 2,120 158 114 352 168
4554 1,012 566 3,436 1,515 73 49 177 103
55 or older 248 162 820 510 10 7 23 18
 
TABLE 10.10 Average daily population and the number of men, women, and juveniles in local jails on June 30, 2000, 2005, and 2006
  2000 2005 2006
aAverage daily population is the sum of the number of inmates in jail on each day for a year divided by the total number of days in a year.
bJuveniles are persons under age 18 on June 30.
cIncludes juveniles who were tried or awaiting trial as adults.
SOURCE: William J. Sabol, Todd D. Minton, and Paige M. Harrison, Table 9. Number of Inmates in Local Jails on June 30, 2000, 2005, and 2006, in Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2006, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, June 2007, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/pjim06.pdf (accessed November 14, 2008)
Average daily populationa 618,319 733,442 755,896
Number of inmates, June 30 621,149 747,529 766,010
Adults 613,534 740,770 759,906
Male 543,120 646,807 661,329
Female 70,414 93,963 98,577
Juvenilesb 7,615 6,759 6,104
Held as adultsc 6,129 5,750 4,836
Held as juveniles 1,489 1,009 1,268

Steinberg argues that at the end of the first decade of the new millennium, get-tough policies were softening as politicians and the public come to regret the high economic costs and ineffectiveness of the punitive reforms and the harshness of the sanctions. Elizabeth Scott and Laurence Steinberg find in Adolescent Development and the Regulation of Youth Crime (Future of Children, vol. 18, no. 2, fall 2008) that by 2008 the justice system was once again recognizing that age and maturity level needed to be taken into account when calculating punishment for crimes. They suggest that most juveniles who commit crimes are adolescence-limited offenders who will mature out of their criminal tendencies; however, contact with a harsh, adult corrections system can push juveniles into adult criminality. Instead, the authors state, successful programs seek to provide young offenders with supportive social contexts and authoritative adult figures and to help them acquire the skills necessary to change problem behavior and attain psychosocial maturity.

Other surveys support the idea that get-tough attitudes appear to be changing. The survey New NCCD Poll Shows Public Strongly Favors Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment (February 7, 2007, http://www.nccd-crc.org/nccd/pubs/zogbyPR0207.pdf), which was conducted by Zogby International for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, finds that the American public supports rehabilitation and treatment for young people, not prosecution in adult criminal courts or incarceration in adult jails or prisons. Nine out of 10 people surveyed believed this approach might help prevent crime in the future, and seven out of 10 believed imprisoning juveniles in adult facilities would increase the likelihood that they would commit future crimes. Most people believed that youth should not be automatically transferred to adult court, but that such transfers should be handled on an individual basis.

Children and the Death Penalty

Until 2005 convicted criminals could be executed for crimes they committed as juveniles. Victor L. Streib of Ohio Northern University reports in The Juvenile Death Penalty Today: Death Sentences and Executions for Juvenile Crimes, January 1, 1973February 28, 2005 (October 7, 2005, http://www.law.onu.edu/faculty_staff/faculty_profiles/coursematerials/streib/juvdeath.pdf) that between 1973 and 2005, 22 offenders were executed for crimes they committed when they were younger than 18. The U.S. Supreme Court has considered many cases concerning the practice of executing offenders for crimes they committed as children. In Eddings v. Oklahoma (455 U.S. 104 [1982]), the Court found that a juvenile's mental and emotional development should be considered as a mitigating factor when deciding whether to apply

the death penalty, noting that adolescents are less mature and responsible than adults and not as able to consider long-range consequences of their actions. In this case, the court reversed the death sentence of a 16-year-old who had been tried as an adult.

Subsequent Supreme Court rulings have further limited the application of the death penalty in cases involving juveniles. In Thompson v. Oklahoma (487 U.S. 815 [1988]), the court found that applying the death sentence to an offender who had been 15 years old at the time of the murder was cruel and unusual punishment, concluding that the death penalty could not be applied to offenders who were younger than 16. However, the following year the court found in Stanford v. Kentucky (492 U.S. 361) that applying the death penalty to offenders who were age 16 or 17 at the time of the crime was not cruel and unusual punishment.

The court was asked to reconsider this decision in 2005. In Roper v. Simmons (543 U.S. 551), the court set aside the death sentence of Christopher Simmons by a vote of five to four, concluding that the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments forbid imposition of the death penalty on offenders who were under the age of 18 when their crimes were committed. Snyder and Sickmund note that few states applied death penalty provisions to juveniles at the time of the Roper decision, even though 20 states allowed juveniles to be sentenced to death under the law.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Crime Prevention and Punishment." Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's Youth. 2009. Encyclopedia.com. 27 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Crime Prevention and Punishment." Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's Youth. 2009. Encyclopedia.com. (May 27, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-1335600016.html

"Crime Prevention and Punishment." Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's Youth. 2009. Retrieved May 27, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-1335600016.html

Crime and Punishment

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. The occurrence and types of crime, as well as the development of institutions of trial and punishment during the years 15001800, may be described as moving along lines integral to general trends in the making of early modern Europe: the formation of stratified societies based on elements of class and patronage and the development of centralized states. It is easier to arrive at some general conclusions toward the end of the period than at its beginning.

STATE JURISDICTION

By 1500 the power to define crimes had all but moved out of the realms of religion, family, and clan into a new and separate sphere, that of the state. Acts amounting to crime were increasingly determined, not by aggrieved parties arguing their case before some form of public assemblage, but by monarchs and princes assisted by combinations of trained professionals and appointed amateurs, operating ever more efficient bureaucratic institutions. Likewise, punishments were constituted in formal law codes and meted out according to standards reflective of societies constituted by groups of unequal individuals. People guilty of the commission of crimes were no longer viewed as ordinary members of society who had gone beyond acceptable behavioral limits acknowledged by religion and tradition (sinners), but as types of people whose lifestyle of poverty predisposed them to a life of crime, creating and spreading an "underworld" of deviants who threatened to overturn decent society. The function of the legal and punitive apparatus, therefore, was changing from capture, trial, punishment, and resolution to deterrence, surveillance, suppression, and exclusion.

At the beginning of the period, definitions of "crime" varied among a multiplicity of locales, regions, states, and between various jurisdictionscommunal, seigneurial, ecclesiastical, and royal. There existed no uniformity of opinion as to what kinds of acts should be construed as crimes; therefore, the definitions of "crime" were as various as the many locations where it occurred. In areas where urbanization was the rule, as in northern and central Italy, large and small towns had criminal statutes on their books inherited from the Middle Ages, when communal governments had won their freedom from the jurisdiction of either the papacy or the Holy Roman Empire. Particularly in northern Italy, these laws derived from tribal law (Lombard Law), the criminal codes of Justinian, and the statutes deemed appropriate by local officials. To these were added, by the sixteenth century, the decrees of the princes, ruling over territorial states in increasing number, a power deriving from the Roman emperors. In other societies of Europe as well, tribal law was enshrined in written codes as customary law, along with the statutes of local officials with criminal jurisdictions, to which were added the laws of kings and princes.

This new sphere of state jurisdiction expanded considerably, squeezing to the margins ecclesiastical jurisdictions, its medieval predecessor in the definition and trial of most crime. From the sixteenth century on, ecclesiastical courts only exercised authority over transgressions such as, in England, for example (prior to the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1536), working on feast days and sexual misconduct (fornication), earning them the nickname of the "bawdy courts." After the Reformation reduced the size and scope of the Catholic clergy, it was only in Catholic countries that the church retained jurisdiction over its personnel, in Italy, for example, exempting them from trial in secular tribunals.

Despite the increasing authority and judicial power of the developing state, it would be a mistake to say that the law reflected only the interests and desires of princes. Even though members of the royal family and the princely inner circle were not tried and punished in the legal system for their transgressions, because to admit to bad behavior that the princes were attempting to discourage (in part by their comportment and that of their peers) among their subjects weakened their efforts to lead by example, their professed social values were often identical to those of their subjects. Everyone agreed that theft, assault, rape, and murder, for example, were not to be tolerated because all were disruptive of the conduct of everyday life. Likewise, laws that punished those who sold grain at exorbitant prices during famine should be punished (on the basis that such practice was a form of usury).

On the other hand, many laws clearly did protect the interests of the aristocracy at the expense of the masses of people. In the Tuscan Grand Ducal State, for example, the Medici grand dukes criminalized hunting and fishing in most of their state for everyone but themselves and their aristocratic comrades. Those others caught hunting or fishing could be punished by a series of fines. Clearly, from the sixteenth century on, from the anti-hunting and fishing provisions of the Medici to the infamous "Waltham Black Act" of 1723 in Britaina series of about a hundred forest laws based in Windsor that prohibited the poor from hunting there under pain of executionthe power to define crime passed into the hands of the princes, becoming a matter of state.

THE TYPOLOGY OF CRIME

A list and discussion of all types of crimes is impossible, but two significant trends in the typology of crime can be addressed: property crimes and crimes against persons, violent and otherwise, and the incidence of these crimes in rural, compared to urban, environments. Historians of crime influenced by Marxist economic theory have argued that these conjoined issues ride atop the deeper and more profound current then transforming Europe from the medieval to the modern: the development of industrial capitalism. Because the economy of medieval Europe did not produce a plenitude of goods available for theft, nor were the means of production in this agrarian society concentrated in the hands of a few capitalists (thus causing widespread poverty and the need to steal to survive), these historians argue, the majority of crimes were crimes of violence against persons. The onset of capitalist society reversed the situation in early modern Europe, multiplying many times the availability of goods and the extent of poverty, so that thebroadtypology ofcrimeswitched from crimes of violence to crimes against the property of the rich and well-to-do committed by the desperate poor. The agrarian society of the medieval period, with its population scattered across a pastoral landscape, concentrated its violence in its few crowded and noisome cities. Conclusions based on the research of historians of crime since the 1970s, however, disprove this thesis.

More recently, historians of crime have produced research supporting a new thesis that requires a new explanation. Crimes of violence seem to diminish dramatically in frequency in the seventeenth century, but the trend in crimes against property seems to remain stable. So, while Europe became a much less violent place, the rates of property crime remained level. What is surprising is the conclusion that cities were not the locations for the majority of violent crime; that honor goes to the countryside. To explain this conclusion, historians of crime have resurrected Norbert Elias's arguments in The Civilizing Process (1939), which seem to better explain their results. Elias argued for the centrality of the royal courts in promoting the domestication of society from the sixteenth century on. The princes and their peers at court not only set the example for acceptable behavior, emphasizing self-restraint, but rulers also monopolized the means to commit violence within society. Consequently, increasingly complex European societies became peaceful on the domestic level, with low incidences of violent crime. (During this same period, it is also true that Europe engaged in vastly increased levels of violence in wars between its societies and in the larger world.)

Feuds and family honor. Explanation of the types and incidence of violent crime entails explication of a number of important social, political, and economic factors. One reason behind the incidence of violent crime is that assaults and murder were usually the result of the social importance of honor, particularly in Mediterranean Europe. Family and clan were the foundation of European society well past the sixteenth century, but these organizations of people were held together by more than ties of mutual affection: often these groups adhered together to achieve economic and political goals that also tested their mutual loyalty. Fulfillment of basic male rolesson, father, husband, and loyal friendwas required: these men were aggressive, out in society, and politically engaged. Females submitted to the protection and direction of their male relatives. Women were assigned more passive roles as daughters, mothers, and wives, even though many worked in agriculture, business, and industry (cloth workers in Florence, for example). These roles were defined by tradition and by religion; there is nothing surprising here. The reason for going briefly over this familiar ground is that these roles and their constraints shaped the reasons for and the participants in violent crime. Incidences of assault, murder, and rape (another violent, not sexual, crime even then) were overwhelmingly the provenance of males. Violence was often required in the fulfillment of male roles in defense of the honor (read: family or male honor) of women. Violence was necessary to achieve the political and economic goals of the family or clan, and this was true at every level of society excepting the most destitute in rural areas, whose poverty and lack of connections excluded them from the action.

In the Mediterranean region of Europe, family and clan competition, which extended across political borders as well as the physically defined lines between city and countryside, produced the endemic violence of the feud. In urban and in rural areas family- and clan-based feuding was both political and economic in nature. Political goals were often pursued through violence, while economic relations were also protected with violent means, especially in border regions. The cataclysmic episodes of violence that shook many of Italy's major cities during the Renaissance are legendary. By the sixteenth century, however, these violent eruptions, which usually paralyzed political life, had come to an end in the larger cities. In the smaller towns and centers of rural society, located in mountainous border regions, and at the borders of major territorial states, however, episodes of feuding continued to occur, even into the modern period. Feuding was endemic into the seventeenth century in the hinterland of the Tuscan Grand Duchy, periodically roiling the towns of the Romagna. In the mountains of Genoa, feuding continued on the fringes of the Genoese state, coming to an end only with the immigration to America of a significant portion of the population in the nineteenth century. The causes for feuding in these regions were economic and cultural: economic, because the poor quality of land available for agricultural production, and the remoteness from seaports where trade might have been engaged in, meant that subsistence was impossible without the supplemental activity of smuggling, which occurred over routes for which clans fought each other for control; cultural, in that honor came into play in these contests, and honor could only be defended with violence. In the major cities, consolidation of the ruling classes, achieved as a group as in Venice, or more commonly behind one family, as with the Medici of Florence, and the increasingly useful and more peaceful alternative of litigation, worked together to suppress this type of violence. Real and perceived slights continued to occur, but they were contested at a different level of violence.

Very little violence in early modern Europe was unstructured. The tensions, the competitions, the affairs of honor were always present but were pursued in low-intensity conflicts, constituting the larger explosions as the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Explosions of feuding broke out as individual incidents piled up or when a particularly heinous violation occurred or an important person was aggrieved. Even when pacification occurred, individuals and small groups continued to confront each other in the streets of major cities. Efforts to control this type of violence and to limit its effects, with the potential for rupturing the solidarity of the aristocratic class, were focused on supplying an alternative, the ceremonial duel. Historians of dueling agree that they were more often written and theorized about by princes than they were tolerated in actuality. Most famously, the France of Louis XIII, with Cardinal Richelieu as enforcer, absolutely forbade participation in the duel. Likewise, the Medici wrote more about dueling than they tolerated participation in it by their fellow aristocrats. Instead, systematic examination of criminal records in Florence demonstrates that men from good families confronted each other informally in armed street brawls, structurally squeezed into the space between the formal duel, the large-scale combat of earlier times, and the alternative of litigation. Honor would be satisfied, but the story does not end here. In smaller towns, incidents of insulting language and actsrape, assault, and murderwere usually linked to a level of clan feuding that occurred below the notice of officials. It is easy to see why this was the case: these factions existed in social spaces so small that it was impossible for them to avoid seeing each other on a daily basis. There were, however, other sources of violence.

Aristocratic retainers, whether in urban or rural settings, were responsible for some assaults. If the particular lord whom they served happened to be a protected resident in a foreign town while in exile, his bravos may even have been formally exempt from punishment for their violence under local statutes. At home they were usually likewise protected. These men usually showed off their status and honor by roughing up local townspeople or peasants while they roamed about city streets or country lanes. Soldiers and militiamen were another source of violent behavior. Soldiers may have been completely exempt until the professionalization of armies in the eighteenth century; militiamen were punished in special court sessions in Tuscany.

Still less structured forms of violence, for example, commissioned assassinations, were carried out by men who may have been professional killers with more than one crime in their résumé, but they could just as likely be well-known ruffians who killed when the right price was offered to them. Rape was mostly a group experience in the city, when it did not involve slave and servant women, but was committed by lone assailants in the countryside. In either case, the primary motive was the exercise of controlling power over vulnerable women, not lust. At times, a rape was another expression of lowintensity feuding.

Banditry: theft and violence. The activities of robber bands, constituting a different type of gang violence, also occurred in rural areas far from the seat of centralized power from the sixteenth century on into the nineteenth. In form, banditry had its medieval antecedents in the robberies and kidnappings of merchants as they passed on roads beneath some lord's castle, and in the freebooting mercenary armies of the fourteenth century. These men have been lauded as "primitive rebels," the precursors of modern political revolutionaries, who robbed the rich while protecting the poor, who sang their praises.

But the targets of most bandits in the early modern period were not the rich. For example, in the Austrian Netherlands, the Bokkeryders (the Goat Riders, after a medieval myth), active in the Lower Meuse in the 1730s to 1770s, the politically fragmented area of northeastern Maastricht, were organized around a core group of skinners and ironworkers whom unemployment had hit hard. These men had ties to local elites, as bandits usually did, and preyed on local churches and peasants. In Italy, bandit groups were composed of a core of men who had literally been banned from their home areas as contumacious of criminal charges. Banditry attracted a lot of attention from state officials and princes in the early modern period, as their depredations combined a high level of violence with theft and destruction of property.

A neat distinction between violence and theft is not possible in every case, because theft is often accompanied by violence. In early modern Europe, violence usually accompanied theft in the countryside, where highwaymen employed at least the threat of violence by showing a weapon, along with actual violence. In cities, however, violence seldom accompanied thefts. The category of nonviolent crime consisted of a variety of offenses against various forms of property (everything from trade or farming implements, to money, merchandise, and land with and without buildings), the accumulation of which both determined a person's qualification to participate in political life and conferred social position, if not quite personhood, especially on the bourgeoisie. As the accumulation of wealth came to assume a major place in European society among bourgeois and noble alike, thieves became subject to punishment by capital penalties, even for crimes as petty and necessary as the theft of a fish from the market.

Common types of theft included pickpocketing, burglary of homes and businesses, and theft from markets. The first two were usually the work of professionals, who were constantly on the move between one location and another, although, on occasion, the records reveal the existence of a criminal gang led by a young rogue aristocrat. They disposed of their pilfered items through fences, often Jewish merchants operating secondhand clothes shops or shops where other items, such as weapons, could be sold. Ideally, the stolen items were taken to such a shop for sale in a different locale than that where the theft had occurred; otherwise, the chance that an item might be recognized by its owner was too great. In Florence and elsewhere dealers in secondhand merchandise were subject to regulation because of their role in dispersing the fruits of thefts. At times the poor stole edible goods to ward off hunger, or were accused by neighbors of stealing farm implements.

Other, more sophisticated forms of theft occurred in the world of business. Usury, for example, was both a crime and a sin. Because profit was the inevitable outcome of a good business transaction, merchants devised numerous clever schemes for hiding profits that rose above the levels deemed acceptable by medieval churchmen. At times, bankruptcies of businesses were criminalized because there was always the possibility that what was really going on was concealment from one's associates or creditors of the intention of making off with what remained of the value of an enterprise in financial trouble. Hoarding grain for sale at higher-thanallowed prices during famine or dearth was another form of usury. From the sixteenth century on, the focus on what constituted a criminal act turned to crimes committed by the poor.

ASSOCIATING POVERTY AND CRIME

In both medieval and early modern Europe it was believed that the poor and crime would always be present in society because of the inherent misfortunes of life and the defective character of human beings. Yet the early modern period witnessed the advent of a decisive and telling sociological change in perception of the poor and of crime that more closely associated the two than before. The medieval poor were the holy poor: women whom fortune had deprived of a husband, children similarly deprived of one or both parents, and the blind or crippled of both sexes. It was the church that ministered to the needs of these unfortunate few, by the early modern period in partnership with the state. Symptomatically, prostitution, which many came to regard as a moral crime in the sixteenth century (everywhere but in Italy, where it remained merely regulated), was tolerantly viewed by the medieval church as the inevitable resort of lone women without a man to financially support them.

From 1500 on, the perceptual gulf between rich and poor widened. One of the reasons, but by no means the only one, was the development of a new self-concept among the wealthy: the rich were coming to see themselves as self-composed, restrained in their behavior and appearance, which reflected their superior inner worth, while the condition, behavior, and appearance of the poor similarly demonstrated their lack of worth. Various religions as well as governments began to note what they described as a great increase in the number of wretched poor flooding the cities.

Historians are not yet certain about the reality of the alleged increase in numbers or about what might have been the cause if the cited rise was, in fact, a reality. There would have been a notable increase in population from the postBlack Death lows reached around 1450, but the curve would not reach its highest point until 1600. It can be argued that city dwellers in particular were seeing two things: first, a real increase in the number of people, many of them poor. But they were also becoming aware of a new phenomenon, the existence of persistent poverty among the working poor and the unemployed. Composed of able-bodied men, this group, which had come into existence during the medieval period, stood out among the growing crowd of holy poor.

Partnerships between the state and religious organizations, both Protestant and Catholic, formed in the sixteenth century in an attempt to find solutions to the problem of the teeming masses of poor people clogging city streets and flowing along country byways. Efforts were made to keep the poor in their home areas, dispensing aid to them there; no one wanted to bear the burden of supporting the nonnative poor. Numbers of wandering poor had been present in medieval Europe, too, which included an uncertain percentage of rogues, people banned from their home areas who had naturally gravitated to a style of life on the fringes of society. The image of the wandering rogue was a common motif of medieval literature.

By the sixteenth century, this image was apparently broadened and applied to explain the character and existence of larger numbers of able-bodied poor men, many of whom were not wandering rogues at all but were, in Florence, for example, recognized by churchmen as being unemployed and in need of assistance. However, in most areas of Europe they did not receive this help; the new state- and religion-based systems of assistance focused instead on the traditional holy poor and single women, marginalizing, sometimes criminalizing, unemployed men. Sir Thomas More, in the introduction to his Utopia, recognized that these men, many of whom were crippled war veterans, were in need of help and posed no threat to society. Unfortunately, this view did not then prevail: the increasing numbers of vagabonds were viewed as threats to rural and urban society alike in an age of warfare and suspicion that produced a demand for order above all else.

In this way, the association between systematic poverty and crime came into existence. But more was needed to produce this newly negative evaluation of the poor; more was needed to create the sociological concepts of "poverty" and "criminality" to replace the poor and those who violated the law but could be brought back into society. Poverty had come to be perceived as a "style of life" voluntarily adopted by those who were too lazy to work. In fact, the records reveal that, in the eyes of merchants and government officials, there was a widespread belief that the working poor abandoned their jobs because they had discovered that they could gather more money by begging in the streets. Criminality was thus characterized as the occupation of lazy men and women who made the decision to obtain money illicitly by disguising themselves as the deserving poor, depriving them of alms and deceiving those who provided those alms. Thus, dishonesty and immorality were learned and taught to the young by those who lacked stable family structures, the primary place where morality was taught during this period. As a result of such thinking, the concept of criminality as a self-replicating style of life that would corrode the underpinnings of decent society if it were allowed to spread unchecked appeared to spring into existence.

The sixteenth century also witnessed the birth of a fascination with the existence of a criminal "underworld," a topic that has also enthralled some historians of the poor and of crime. Some records of police interrogations of beggars from the period have been found, most notably for sixteenth-century Rome. In them, elaborate structures of this underworld of criminal beggars were outlined. By the seventeenth century, particularly in Spain, popular literary motifs of shady characters inhabiting this underworld became widespread. Police interrogations of frightened poor people were likely to produce confirmations of what the interrogators expected to hear. This is just as true of the images of the elaborately imagined structure of the under-world of beggars, where each type of begging scam was taught and practiced by members of something like craft guilds, who then federated together, as it is of the testimonies of women tried as witches, who confessed to truly incredible practices and occurrences under pressure. In this period and later, historians have also found evidence of special "languages" used by criminals to set themselves off from decent people. While this evidence cannot be completely disregarded, in criminal records assembled and examined by historians of crime, no proof of such an underworld exists. One must never underestimate the ability of literary motifs to affect the expectations and actions of educated elites. This was as true of the witchcraft phenomenon of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, where elite expectations were shaped by the fifteenth-century Malleus Malificarum, as it was of the documents confirming the expectations of the literate regarding the existence of a criminal underworld. One was as true, in fact, as the other.

SYSTEMS OF CAPTURE, TRIAL, AND PUNISHMENT

The police. Not much is known about the police in early modern Europe. In large part this is due to the informality of policing, often an ancillary responsibility of kings and lesser nobles, whose job it was to provide order in the realm. Italy led the way in forming urban and rural police agencies in the medieval period to deal with crime, while Great Britain joined in at the end of the period. Thematically there is a dual focus: on their effectiveness in capturing violators, and on the issue of police corruption, or what might be called the moral quality of officers.

The Italian cities displayed several different types of police units from the later medieval period. The main force, which was not large in number, was organized as a military unit under a captain of police (capitano del bargèllo or il bargèllo, in Florence), with one or more lieutenants under him and a number of men in squads. In emergency situations they might be aided in the capture of malefactors, or in suppressing crowd violence, by members of the military guard of nobles, which were routinely stationed outside palaces. These military units patrolled the city at night, carried various documents from the criminal courts and magistracies, and made arrests as necessary. To carry out these functions, they had to have achieved some level of literacy. The police captain, at least, kept his ear to the ground by maintaining close familiarity with a number of questionable personalities who served as informers. (Even this early in their history, the police faced the absolute necessity of relying on informants to make arrests.) Very small constabularies were established in the small towns of the countryside. In France, a marshal was established to control crime outside of the cities, while in Paris from 1667 on a lieutenant, a powerful official, was responsible for the control of crime. Great Britain formed centralized "French" police units in London with the establishment in 1770 of the Bow Street Foot Patrol in London, with a contingent also to patrol the countryside, and a similar force for Westminster.

Other squads specialized in the operation of the many jails (including debtors' jails) that the cities established with the extension of municipal control over what had been, in the high medieval period, privately operated places of detention. The most common purpose of jails was to hold suspects during lengthy periods of pretrial detention, which, in early modern Florence, averaged six months. There is some question as to how effectively the guard kept watch over inmates; the reason that Florentine government took over administration of jails was to stop the many successful escapes. Making the owners of these jails liable for financial reimbursement to the city for escapees had not served as an effective deterrent. Escapes still occurred, sometimes under mysterious circumstances. Guards often had contact with prisoners because they not only provided security but also sold food, bedding, and other items to those few who could afford them while they were being held. Prisoners or their families were responsible for meeting the costs associated with maintaining a person in confinement, so the better off the person was, the better he or she lived. The othersthe vast majoritystarved or marginally survived on meager alms provided by reluctant princes.

The last type of policing was directed at controlling banditry and vagabondage. In Italy banditry was dealt with by ad hoc militia units that conducted campaigns against bandit gangs, hanging as many culprits as they could catch. These campaigns were temporary because of their great expense. Vagabondage was controlled by local police forces: in France, for example, the marshals were charged with controlling vagabondage in the countryside.

Many experts on crime and punishment are harsh in their judgment of the effectiveness and corruptibility of the police in the early modern period, but they were too few and lacking in the technological advantages to match the effectiveness of modern police in the detection of crime and criminals and in the capture of malefactors. Many people charged with crimes simply left the area, becoming contumacious rather than submit themselves to the possibility of detention and punishment. Policemen were paid very little at that time. In fact, the state spent very little on the support of the entire system of criminal justice. As a consequence, the prison situation was designed to provide the police with opportunities to supplement their salaries with the proceeds of legitimate graft. Legitimate graft easily crossed over into illegitimate territory, however, when the police accepted payment for abetting the occasional escape, in falsely imprisoning women on charges of prostitution and then collecting payments to release them, and so forth.

Conversely, others were clearly dedicated to service. There are accounts, for example, of rural policemen who pursued men who had come into the center of towns and small cities to engage in the violence associated with feuding, increasingly using harquebuses (heavy portable matchlock guns) from the sixteenth century on, even though they were outnumbered and outgunned. Because the nature of their work allows them the sanctioned exercise of violence and restraintthus, the job will attract some persons of questionable moralsand because they are too few in number (but who wishes to live in a police state?) and poorly paid (some police will succumb to opportunities for corruption) policing the police will always be a difficult challenge.

Trial. Many types of courts, tribunals, and magistracies exercised jurisdiction over the adjudication of early modern crime. Although centralization was occurring, it was not achieved in Europe's early modern period. Some courts were professionalized, in that they were staffed with actual judges trained in the law; others were not, as in the English system, where quarter sessions and assize courts were staffed with justices of the peace appointed from the merchant class. Some magistracies, like the Eight on Public Safety in Grand Ducal Tuscany, while having wide but not exclusive criminal jurisdiction, were staffed by selected citizens with no juridical background at all. In Catholic countries, the church retained jurisdiction over its personnel. Finally, some bureaucracies regularly convened as magistracies to adjudicate violations of their own regulations.

Procedure in criminal cases exhibited some important similarities across Europe, despite the simultaneous persistence of differences. Cases were initiated through either accusatorial or inquisitorial process. In the first and older of the two, a case commenced with a private denunciation; in the latter, developed in the medieval period by the church to investigate and adjudicate cases of heresy, the process was initiated by magistrates. Though both types of process existed side by side after 1500, inquisitorial procedure dominated on the Continentin Spain, primarily in Aragón, in northern Italy, in Sweden, France, and Germanyby the middle of the century. Legislation of special interest occurs in the Carolina of 1532 in the German Empire, in the Royal Ordinance of 1539 in France, and in the Criminal Ordinance of 1570 in the Spanish Netherlands.

England was different in not adopting the inquisitorial process but developed instead, in the Marian Statutes of 15541555, its own process initiated by magistrates. The advantage to inquisitorial procedure was the investigative initiative and power conferred on magistrates who were appointed by princes. One need not wait for a complaint from an alleged victim to begin investigating a suspected crime, during the course of which witnesses and suspected culprits were held in jail if they could not make bond. Of course, the vast majority was poor people, who could not afford bond, or political enemies of the princes, who were held secretly. An important point to make is that inquisitorial process had its longer, more complex form, requiring the expertise of jurists, but it also had an abbreviated form that could be utilized by ordinary citizen-magistrates, appointed by the Grand Dukes, and advised only by a lawyer, as was the case with the Florentine Eight on Public Safety. One must be careful, therefore, not to automatically assume that the inception of the inquisition process indicated unidirectional progress toward modernity in every case. In Florence the medieval system, which relied on trained jurists acting as judges, was more "modern," while the early modern system, centered in the city, represents several steps away from professionalization.

Detention was a part of the trial procedure, as was some degree of torture. Defense lawyers were participants when the accused could afford them. Questioning was conducted while torture was being administered, then confirmed with the accused once it had ceased. Those found innocent were either freed without prejudice or provisionally acquitted with the state retaining the option of recharging them in perpetuity, even after their death. Most of those suspected of serious crimes simply fled, entering the state of contumacy despite the severity of the penalties that were statutorily applied in that instance. This was a good strategy, because the state was willing to negotiate lesser penalties with the contumacious in return for submitting themselves to justice.

Punishment. Punishment was effected through afflictive and pecuniary penalties, and forms of penal servitude, with increasing application of a fourth, incarceration and outright expulsion, depending on the polity and the time period. England is the easiest to discuss because, for the sixteenth through the seventeenth centuries, it relied heavily on capital penalties as punishment for a wide variety of crimes, from theft to murder. Great Britain relied on using capital penalties to terrify potential criminals as a deterrent because it did not have police forces to catch violators, and would not have them until the late eighteenth century.

In the Mediterranean countries, pecuniary penalties and forms of penal servitude predominated. In sixteenth-century Florence, imposition of afflictive penalties was heralded as an equalizing reform, because the rich would not be able to lessen the impact of justice by using their wealth. In fact, what occurred in Grand Ducal Tuscany, and in Spain, was the increasing reliance on forms of penal servitude as punishment. Penal servitude derived from the opus publicum ('public works') of antiquity, giving it a long history. Its common form in Italy was in galley service, or service in the mercenary armies that Italian princes were obliged to raise to support the northern wars of their Habsburg masters. The Florentines added internal exile, another punishment with an antique heritage, sending many convicts to reside in Livorno, then a pestilent swamp that the grand dukes would turn into their only port to the Mediterranean. The Spanish also employed convicts in galley service, adding service in mercury mines at Almadén, and presidios ('hard labor prisons') in North Africa and in their American possessions. By 1748 they had abolished galley service in favor of sentences in presidios as the most common type of punishment. The motivation for these types of punishment was the need for manpower to serve the needs of war and of empire.

REFORM

The Enlightenment produced an interest in the reform of criminal justice and punishment. The most influential reformer was Cesare Beccaria, the Milanese dilettante. In Of Crimes and Punishments (1764), he proposed standardizing sentences in proportion to the seriousness of the crime without later modifying them, leaving aside consideration of the social differences between victim and culprit if there were any, and ending the practice of judicial torture and the infliction of capital penalties. The inflexible imposition of sentences would convince any potential criminal to weigh the likely result of committing a crime against the unlikely benefits, a calculation that Beccaria was confident would deter potential criminals. As a mode of punishment, he preferred penal servitude in the public interest: why should criminals not be put to use in making restitution to society for the losses caused by their violations? The barbarity of the old system, exemplified above all else by gruesome public executions, had to be brought to an end by a civilized society. During this same period, the English began to rely on a system of imprisonment in the decaying hulks of ships, before turning to a new system, expelling prisoners from Great Britain and Ireland to Australia, America, and Tasmania between 1787 and the end of the practice in 1868. The French also employed a system of expelling criminals to penal colonies in the Americas during roughly the same period.

The development of early modern crime and punishment ends with increasing reliance on excluding undesirable people from decent society. Commission of a crime had come to define an individual for life; exclusion was the proper response before the idea of reforming the criminal took hold in the nineteenth century. This is not to say that disciplinary institutions did not previously exist; the first prisons (as workhouses) were founded in the mid-sixteenth century, but the general adoption of the modern prison and its ideology of reform was not the teleological result of trends in the reform of criminal justice but the result of changes in the way that crime came to be conceptualized as criminality, and violators as criminals.

See also Authority, Concept of ; Banditry ; Beccaria, Cesare Bonesana, marquis of ; Capitalism ; Charity and Poor Relief ; Church and State Relations ; Cities and Urban Life ; City-State ; Class, Status, and Order ; Duel . Equality and Inequality ; Food Riots ; Honor ; Hunting ; Inquisition ; Landholding ; Liberty ; Mobility, Social ; Peasantry ; Police ; Poverty ; Property ; Prostitution ; Refugees, Exiles, and Émigrés ; Serfdom ; Torture ; Utopia ; Vagrants and Beggars ; Villages ; Widows and Widowhood ; Witchcraft ; Women .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Brackett, John K. Criminal Justice and Crime in Late Renaissance Florence, 15371609. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 1992.

Elias, Norbert. The Civilizing Process. Oxford and Cambridge, U.K., 1994.

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Translated by Alan Sheridan. New York, 1979.

Hay, Douglas, et al. Albion's Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth-Century England. London and New York, 1975.

Johnson, Eric A., and Eric H. Monkkonen, eds. The Civilization of Crime: Violence in Town and Country since the Middle Ages. Urbana, Ill., 1996.

Kagay, Donald J., and Villalon, L. J. Andrew, eds. The Final Argument: The Imprint of Violence on Society in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Woodbridge, U.K., and Rochester, N.Y., 1998.

Knafla, Louis, ed. Policing and War in Europe. Westport, Conn., 2002.

Langbein, John H. Prosecuting Crime in the Renaissance: England, Germany, France. Cambridge, Mass., 1974.

Pike, Ruth. Penal Servitude in Early Modern Spain. Madison, Wis., 1983.

Spierenburg, Pieter. The Prison Experience: Disciplinary Institutions and Their Inmates in Early Modern Europe. New Brunswick, N.J., 1991.

Thompson, E. P. Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act. New York and London, 1975.

Williams, Alan. The Police of Paris, 17181789. Baton Rouge, La., 1979.

John K. Brackett

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

BRACKETT, JOHN K.. "Crime and Punishment." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. 27 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

BRACKETT, JOHN K.. "Crime and Punishment." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. (May 27, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3404900276.html

BRACKETT, JOHN K.. "Crime and Punishment." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. 2004. Retrieved May 27, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3404900276.html

Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

Sources

Cities. The period from 1815 to 1850 witnessed important changes in the administration of criminal justice in the United States. These developments primarily reflected two factors. The first was the continued working out of the ideals that had prompted Thomas Jefferson and other leaders of the Revolution to identify criminal justice reform as a key element of the American republic. The second was the social restructuring that followed the War of 1812, particularly the rapid growth of cities that challenged the social order and deepened fears of crime. Many aspects of the city contributed to these apprehensions: the built environment of dark streets and alleys, the size and density of urban populations, the increasing ethnic diversity that accompanied immigration, and the desperate poverty of slums such as Five Points in New York or the Half-Moon District in Boston. Magnified by the city, although not unique to it in the highly mobile society, was the sense that Americans less and less often knew the people around them. The fascination with swindlers and other crimes of trust reflected this anxiety. The term confidence man originated in the United States shortly before midcentury, Herman Melville would use the expression a few years later as the title for a penetrating analysis of nineteenth-century America.

Sensationalism. The popular press that emerged in the early 1830s contributed significantly to developing attitudes toward crime. Penny newspapers such as the Boston Daily Times, the Philadelphia Public Ledger, the New York Sun, and, above all, the New York Herald angled for large markets with the most sensational material available. As Herald editor James Gordon Bennett explained, readers were more ready to seek six columns of the details of a brutal murder, or the testimony of a divorce case, or the trial of a divine for improprieties of conduct, than the same amount of words poured forth by the genius of the noblest author of the times. A survey of newspapers in the 1850s concluded that no narrative of human depravity or crime can shock or horrify an American reader. The scandal-mongering press was supplemented by such publications as the weekly National Police Gazette and by books and pamphlets narrating the mostlurid cases. The first demonstration of the new place of crime in the national consciousness was the famous Salem Murder of 1830, the brutal slaying of retired merchant Capt. Joseph White in Salem, Massachusetts. Brothers Frank and Joseph Knapp were convicted and executed for seeking to benefit from Whites will by hiring Richard Crowninshield to perpetrate the crime; mad with guilt, Crowninshield committed suicide in jail while awaiting trial. Other sensational cases of the era included the trial of Methodist preacher Ephraim K. Avery in 1833 for seducing and then murdering a girl after a camp meeting; the controversial acquittal of New York fop Richard P. Robinson for the murder of prostitute Ellen Jewett; the violent spree of a Kentucky gang led by brothers John and James Harpe; and the adventures of thief John A. Murrell, known as the Great Western Land Pirate.

Crime and Culture. The new crime literature was not only more graphic but also more morally ambiguous than the Puritan tradition of gallows sermons and confessions. A bold, charismatic outlaw such as Murrell could now become a posthumous folk hero in America. Some of the most gifted commentators of the age were fascinated by the depravity of notorious criminals. Prosecuting attorney Daniel Websters argument to the jury in the Salem Murder case, emphasizing the cool amorality of the Knapp brothers, ranked in cultural significance with his influential political and commemorative orations. Nathaniel Hawthorne took a deep interest in the Salem Murder and other sensational cases, incorporating aspects of them into his fiction. Similarly, Edgar Allan Poe found inspiration for his story The Tell-Tale Heart in the Salem Murder and the case of Peter Robinson, who was executed in 1841 after his victims corpse was discovered under a floor plank. The murder of New York cigar girl Mary Rogers provided the occasion for

Poes The Mystery of Marie Roget, one of the works in which he introduced the detective story as a literary genre. The classic detective, characterized more by shrewdness than by righteousness, and operating without the constraints of an official position, in many ways reflected the fascination that criminals had come to exert in American culture and transferred their appealing qualities to the side of justice.

Penitentiaries. The emergence of the penitentiary as a major social institution helped to define the character of the era. Since the Revolution incarceration had gradually displaced such methods of punishment as maiming, whipping, branding, exposure in public stocks, and the extensive use of Capital punishment. Imprisonment was considered not only more humane but also more respectful of the civic dignity of the individual than punishments that relied on public humiliation. Republican principles also called for an end to the practice of imprisoning debtors, which had been a central purpose of detention facilities; without the presence of debtors, prisons could be more thoroughly organized around the treatment of convicts. Consistent with the nineteenth-century faith in education as a panacea for the troubles of society, penitentiaries were to become schools that would effect the reformation of wrongdoers. The penitentiary was one of the first American institutions to draw extensive attention from Europe; Alexis de Tocque-ville came to the United States on an assignment from the French government to study the prison system. More than just a way to reform criminals, the penitentiary became a practical symbol of the broader promise of the republic to transform society.

Rival Systems. The promotion of the penitentiary as a social institution led to a lively debate between advocates of two approaches to prison management. On one side was the so-called Pennsylvania system, exemplified by the Eastern Penitentiary near Philadelphia, which ranked with the Lowell mills and Niagara Falls as one of the destinations most intently studied by travelers. The hallmark of the Pennsylvania system was the complete isolation of inmates in a solitary confinement that prevented them from corrupting each other and promised to break even the strongest will. Locked in separate cells with no distractions except a small gardening plot, prisoners ate, slept, and worked alone, wearing hoods when it became necessary to appear in front of each other. The leading alternative to the Pennsylvania system was known as the Auburn system because it had been developed at the New York penitentiary. Its principal champion was Louis Dwight, secretary of the Boston Prison Discipline Society, whose widely circulated reports for that organization made him the most influential prison reformer in the country. Under the Auburn system, prisoners lived separately but ate and worked together in silence enforced by the lash. Advocates of the Pennsylvania and Auburn systems managed to see a wide chasm between the two types of institutions and argued bitterly over which approach was superior. In the most acrimonious phase of the debate during the mid 1840s, the motives were personal as well as philosophical, as the Pennsylvania system became a rallying point for Boston reformers alienated from Dwights social circle, including Charles Sumner, Samuel Gridley Howe, and Dorothea Dix. In practical terms, the rivalry was not much of a contest, for the Pennsylvania system was too expensive to be widely adopted. Nor was silence easily maintained under the Auburn system. Reports indicated that it was no longer in force by 1850 at the Massachusetts state prison organized by Dwight, although a Sing Sing inmate of the

late nineteenth century recorded in his memoir that silence remained the rule in that institution.

Capital Punishment. The movement to abolish or sharply limit the death penalty had begun as a continuation of the Revolutionary upheaval. During the 1790s Pennsylvania eliminated capitol punishment for all crimes except premeditated murder, and Virginia restricted the death penalty to murder and certain offenses committed by slaves. The antigallows campaign resumed amid the great wave of reforms during the second quarter of the nineteenth century. New York narrowly decided not to abolish the death penalty in 1841 after an impassioned debate, and the legislature limited its application to murder, treason, and first-degree arson. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island eliminated capitol punishment altogether. More completely successful was the effort to transform the ritual aspects of execution. Hangings had traditionally functioned as public spectacles; in 1827, for example, a crowd estimated at thirty to forty thousand watched the execution of Jesse Strang in Albany, New York. During the 1830s state legislatures provided for executions to be removed from public view and conducted within prisons. This reform partly reflected a growing fear of urban mobs sharpened by riots in every major city during the 1830s and early 1840s. Although a few citizens were invited to represent the public symbolically as witnesses at executions, and although the sensational press ensured that few lurid details would be lost, the privatization of executions eliminated an occasion on which large crowds could gather for a potentially inflammatory spectacle. Like the rise of the penitentiary, the secluded hangings transformed punishment into a ritual that underscored the value of discipline and moderation in republican America.

A VISIT TO THE EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY

Standing at, the central point, and looking down these dreary passages, the dull repose and quiet that prevails is awful. Occasionally there is a drowsy sound from some lone weavers shuttle, or shoemakers last, but it is stifled by the thick walls and heavy dungeon door, and only serves to make the general stillness more profound. Over the head and face of every prisoner who comes into this melancholy house a black hood is drawn; and in this dark shroud, an emblem of the curtain dropped between him and the living world, he is led to the cell from which he never again comes forth until his whole term of imprisonment has expired. He never hears of wife or children; home or friends; the life or death of any single creature. He sees the prison officers, but, with that exception, he never looks upon a human countenance, or hears a human voice. He is a man buried alive; to be dug out in the slow round of years; and in the meantime dead to everything but torturing anxieties and horrible despair.

His name, and crime, and term of suffering are unknown, even to the officer who delivers him his daily food. There is a number over his cell door, and in a book of which the governor of the prison has one copy, and the moral instructor another: this is the index to his history. Beyond these pages the prison has no record of his existence: and though he live to be in the same cell ten weary years, he has no means of knowing down to the very last hour, in what part of the building it is situated; what kind of men there are about him; whether in the long winter night there are living people near, or he is in some lonely, corner of the great jail, with walls, and passages, and iron doors between him and the nearest sharer in its solitary horrors.

Source:

Charles Dickens, American Notes (Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett, 1961), pp. 120122.

Police. The end of the first half of the nineteenth century saw the beginnings of modern police forces, a crucial innovation in the administration of justice and in the presence of government in the everyday lives of citizens. As in the privatization of the death penalty, fears of urban mobs played an important role in the replacement of daytime constables and volunteer night watchmen with an agency of full-time officers available around-theclock to maintain the peace and apprehend criminals. The organization of the London Metropolitan, Police in 1829 provided inspiration for the introduction of police forces in the United States, although British and American law enforcement agencies differed significantly from the outset. The London police recruited bobbies from the countryside to act as disciplined outsiders without attachments to the urban underworld. In contrast, New York and other American cities created police forces that were expected to be part of the communities that they supervised, which created greater opportunities for ambiguity in the relationships between police and criminals. Also unlike their British model, American police forces were important elements in the patronage networks of urban politics. Police agencies began to develop in the 1830s in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York, spreading in the 1850s to New Orleans, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Baltimore. At first, police officers were unarmed and often refused to wear uniforms, which they considered too similar to servants livery to be appropriate for agents of a republican government, but the middle of the century saw the introduction of a significant new apparatus. Philadelphia established uniforms for officers in 1854, provided them with badges, and advised them to carry guns. The New York Metropolitan Police, breaking sharply with its London prototype, supplied officers with pistols in 1857. The police force, one of the most important American legal institutions, assumed its basic modern form.

Sources

Lawrence M. Friedman, Crime and Punishment in American History (New York: Basic Books, 1993);

Louis P. Masur, Rites of Execution: Capital Punishment and the Transformation of American Culture, 17761865 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989);

Wilbur R. Miller, Cops and Bobbies: Police Authority in New York and London, 18301870 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977);

David S. Reynolds, Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville (New York: Knopf, 1988);

David J. Rothman, Discovery of the Asylum: Social Order and Disorder in the New Republic (Boston: Little, Brown, 1971).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Crime and Punishment." American Eras. 1997. Encyclopedia.com. 27 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Crime and Punishment." American Eras. 1997. Encyclopedia.com. (May 27, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2536601030.html

"Crime and Punishment." American Eras. 1997. Retrieved May 27, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2536601030.html

Facts and information from other sites