This timely release discusses patterns and trends in crimes by children and adolescents--trends revealed by arrest data, victim reports, and other sources; youth crime within general crime; and race and sex disparities. The book explores desistance--the probability that delinquency or criminal activities decrease with age--and evaluates different approaches to predicting future crime rates.
In one of the largest studies of this topic undertaken so far, Frazier and Bishop (1995) analyzed data from all cases referred to juvenile justice intake units (N = 137,028) in Florida between January 1, 1985, and December 31, 1987. Frazier and Bishop looked at processing at four points— intake (case closure versus formal processing), detention (detention versus release), court referral (prosecutor files petition versus no petition filed), and judicial disposition (community treatment versus residential facilities or transferred to criminal court). In simple bivariate analyses, Frazier and Bishop found that nonwhites were more likely than whites to be (1) referred by intake for formal processing, (2) held in secure detention facilities, and (3) petitioned to court by prosecutors. However, in trying to interpret findings regarding racial disproportionality, it is commonly recognized that analyses need to control for certain factors that influence the decision-making process. For example, the seriousness of a crime obviously affects the decision-making process. Similarly, a youth's prior record would be something that judges and others involved in the decision-making process might take into account. Other factors about the life circumstances of the juvenile, such as living with a single parent or school
16 – include:
-creating a comprehensive database of blighted properties within the boundaries in order to streamline and centralize the blight monitoring system
-identifying quality of life issues and investigating effective way to enforce existing laws
-obtain 60 registered members
-eradicate all reports of crime within the organization’s boundariesCapdeville said eliminating all crime reports by next month is the loftiest goal, but since the organization has very specific boundaries eliminating crime altogether isn’t impossible.“We realize this is difficult, and we might not achieve that goal this month, but we will achieve that goal eventually,” Capdeville said.Mallory LeBlanc, organizer, said the crime rate around Ulloa and Banks streets prevents her from walking two blocks to locally-owned businesses and bars.
Fourth, criminals are less likely than others to develop the personality and values necessary for entering into and sustaining a marriage. They tend to marry less -- fewer than half of the adult inmates in state prisons ever have been married. (U.S. Department of Justice, Profile of State Prison Inmates 1986, p. 3.) A stable marriage not only has the capacity to induce a man to be gainfully employed, it also steers him away from crime. (See Marvin E. Wolfgang, Terence P. Thornberry, and Robert M. Figlio, From Boy to Man, from Delinquency to Crime (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), pp. 138-43. The authors found that while marriage significantly reduces a man's willingness to lead a life of crime, merely cohabitating with a woman and/or fathering her child do not.) If during a marriage, a man remains a criminal, or reverts to being one, the odds are substantial that his wife will leave him. With this realization, a man who values a marriage avoids crime. Equally important, his children are less likely to become criminals if he stays with his wife. (The evidence is persuasive that children and teenagers are less likely to grow up with problems of mental illness, violence, drug use, and poor school performance when both parents are present in the home. For a review of recent studies, see Nicholas Davidson, "Life Without Father: America's Greatest Social Catastrophe," Policy Review, Number 51, Winter 1990, pp. 40-44.)
Results from other cities are also encouraging. In Flint, Michigan, a city of nearly 150,000, foot patrol officers since 1979 have been trained to refer citizens to social service agencies when the police detect domestic problems or alcohol and drug abuse. The idea is to prevent residents with such problems from falling into a pattern of crime. In the fourteen experimental areas established by the Flint police as high-crime districts, crime rates declined an average of 8 percent in the first three years of the program; by contrast, rates rose 10 percent in areas without the program. (Meese and Carrico, "Taking Back the Streets," pp. 23-24.) In Los Angeles, a foot patrol program, Secured Areas Footbeat Enforcement (SAFE), begun last year but now discontinued due to budget cuts, was popular in several of that city's poorer neighborhoods.
A variation of this argument holds that the structural disadvantages that increase crime rates also reduce educational opportunities, thus lessening individuals’ ability and motivation to score well on IQ tests. Many researchers argue that the IQ–crime correlation occurs only because both are rooted in structural disadvantage, which, in statistical terms, represents a spurious correlation at best. Although these discrimination-type hypotheses have wide appeal, they have received fairly little support in empirical studies, because IQ and crime are significantly correlated within race and class groups as well as when one statistically controls for race, class, test-taking ability, and test-taking motivation.
Private security guards normally are not as well-trained as policemen, and usually carry no firearms. Yet they can be an effective and comparatively inexpensive addition to police forces if both cooperate and communicate closely. According to Richard Neely, Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and a recognized crime expert, it costs far more to put a uniformed police officer than a private guard on the street. (Ibid.) This is because guards are hired to prevent crimes rather than investigate them. The average police officer spends about two percent of his or her time actively patrolling, with the bulk of time devoted to such activities as responding to calls, doing paperwork, and testifying in court. Private guards devote about 90 percent of their time to patrolling and crime prevention.
Given the various aspects of this discussion, many people argue that the U.S. government should resume its long-standing policy of releasing a portion of Pell Grants (student educational grants) and other types of financial aid to qualified incarcerated individuals. They argue that the benefits of such a practice (reductions in recidivism rates) will always far outweigh the public protests against such efforts (arguing that this reduces the funds available to nonincarcerated individuals).
When security guards work closely with residents and police, they can be a valuable tool in reducing crime in low-income neighborhoods. Between 1975 and 1988, the number of private security guards increased from 400,000 to 1.4 million nationwide. By contrast, the number of full-time public police officers rose from 400,000 to just 600,000 during this period. (Richard Neely, "Law and Order -- Do It Yourself," Washington Post, October 21, 1990.)
The focus of the pro-grant arguments is that resuming this policy would drastically decrease rates of recidivism and save individual states millions of dollars each year. Again, there seems to be overwhelming consensus among many people that postsecondary education is the most successful and cost-effective method of preventing crime. However, this often becomes controversial when one starts applying these ideas to people who have already committed criminal acts. More than 1.5 million individuals are housed in adult correctional facilities in the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice generally portrays offenders as impoverished and uneducated prior to incarceration. Inside American prisons, many adult inmates are illiterate, and many more are functionally illiterate.
Add to this that ever-increasing problem of drug addiction. The best estimates show that there are at least 7,000,000 drug addicts in our land and over 20,000,000 drug users. The World Health Organization report shows that Americans use more cocaine and marijuana than any nation on the earth. At least 16% of Americans will use cocaine in their lives as compared with the second leading nation, New Zealand, where 4% will use cocaine. This addiction to drugs is the underlying reason for so many crimes like thefts and robberies.
The reverse also is true
When residents take the simple step of cleaning their neighborhood, it tells criminals that the residents care about their community and thus are more likely to report criminal behavior. Where conscientiously applied, a clean-up strategy cuts crime. Example: The New Briarfield Apartments in Newport News, Virginia, suffered a massive increase in crime during the mid-1980s, terrorizing its low-income residents, and driving many away. Nearly one-fourth of the apartments were being burglarized at least once a year. In an attempt to take control of the neighborhood away from the criminals, the police in 1984 began to work with other municipal agencies and with tenants in launching a campaign to clean up trash, fill potholes, haul away abandoned cars, and sweep the streets. The result was a 35 percent decline in burglaries within three years. (Wilson and Kelling, "Making Neighborhoods Safe," pp. 46-47.)