culture of povertyargument has come into disrepute among many social scientists. The gang , a source of much delinquency, has been a common path for adolescents, particularly in the inner cities. Not until the development, after 1899, of the juvenile court was judgment of youthful offenders effectively separated from that of adults. The system generally emphasizes informal procedure and correction rather than punishment. In some states, psychiatric clinics are attached, and there has been a tendency to handle cases in public welfare agencies outside the court. Juvenile correctional institutions have been separated from regular prisons since the early 19th cent., and although most are inadequate, some have developed intensive rehabilitation programs, providing vocational training and psychiatric treatment. The parole system, foster homes, child guidance clinics, and public juvenile protective agencies have contributed to the correction of delinquent and maladjusted children. Especially important for prevention is action by community groups to provide essential facilities for the well-being of children. On an international level, delinquency rates are highest in the more economically and technologically advanced countries.
See P. Cromwell, Jr., et al., Introduction to Juvenile Delinquency: Text and Readings (1978); D. J. Shoemaker, Theories of Delinquency (1984); V. Bailey, Delinquency and Citizenship (1987); A. Binder et al., Juvenile Delinquency (1988); R. Kramer, At a Tender Age (1988).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Crime and Law Enforcement