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Juvenile Crime and Issues

Juveniles are generally treated differently in the criminal justice system, but sometimes they are treated as adults.
  1. Youth Gangs (14)

Characteristics of Violent Students
If there was a student in your school planning a Columbine-type attack, how would you know? Are their common characteristics to look for in people who explode into school violence?

Youth Happiness Can Deter Crime, Drug Use
Teens who are generally happy are less likely to become involved in juvenile crime and illegal drug use compared to teens who are sad or depressed.

How Race Affects Juvenile Sentencing
When determining sentencing for juvenile offenders, race can play a role in the severity of the punishment.

Early Lead Exposure Linked to Criminal Behavior
Research into long-term data from a childhood lead study in Ohio indicates a direct link between prenatal and early-childhood lead exposure and an increased risk for criminal behavior in later life.

Exposure to Gun Violence Increases Teen Violence
Exposure to gun violence makes adolescents twice as likely to perpetrate serious violence in the next two years, according to a University of Michigan study. Researchers found there is a substantial cause and effect relationship between exposure and perpetration of violence.

What Should I Do If My Child Runs Away?
If your child has run away, taking these steps may help you locate them and get them home faster.

Death Penalty for Juveniles
There are 73 people on death row in the United States who were 16 or 17 years old when they committed their crimes. Is the death penalty for juveniles uncivilized?

Most Juvenile Crime Victims Are Other Juveniles
FBI crime statistics reveal that 62 percent of victims of non-violent juvenile crimes were other juveniles, while only 38 percent were adults.

Preparing Your Children for Peer Pressure
Peer pressure can be a major negative force in the lives of children and adolescents, often resulting in their experimentation with tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs or other illegal activities.

Shoplifting and Teenagers
About Parenting of Adolescents Guide Denise Witmire offers tips on what to do and what not to do if your teenager is caught shoplifting.

Juvenile System Not Equipped to Handle Females
Girls in the juvenile justice system exhibit more risks than do boys for problem behaviors that may lead them to serious trouble, according to new research. Girls had more problems than boys in areas such as family and peer relations, physical health, mental health, traumatic events, and accountability issues.

Supreme Court to Decide Juvenile Death Penalty Case
Those who want to see the death penalty for juveniles abolished are looking toward the case of Roper v. Simmons, which the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review to examine the constitutionality of executing juvenile offenders.

Animal Abuse and Youth Violence
This Bulletin describes psychiatric, psychological, and criminal research linking animal abuse to violence perpetrated by juveniles and adults.

Assessing the Mental Health Status: Youth in Juvenile Justice Settings
This Bulletin provides guidance to juvenile justice professionals seeking to establish guidelines for mental health assessment in juvenile justice facilities.

Bang Bang You're Dead
Playwright, William Mastrosimone, working with Thurston High School, produced this play about school violence and offers it free to all students to use to promote nonviolence. Thurston High School was the scene of student who shot and killed two students and wounded 23 more.

Detection and Prevalence of Substance Use Among Juvenile Detainees
Based on data from a Northwestern Juvenile Project study, this OJJDP Bulletin covers a wide range of substances but focuses on cannabis and cocaine, the drugs most commonly used by juvenile detainees.

Fake IDs, Real Consequences
An article geared towards teens that look at the laws and consequences of being caught with fake identification.

Frontline: Little Criminals
This PBS news magazine looks at violent crimes committed by the very young.

Juveniles in Corrections
Presents the latest available national and state-level data from the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP). The biennial CJRP provides a detailed picture of juveniles in custody—age, race, gender, offenses, adjudication status, and other information.

National Youth Court Center (NYCC)
An information clearinghouse, that provide training and technical assistance, and develop resource materials on how to enhance youth court programs in the United States.

Prostitution of Juveniles: Patterns From NIBRS
Examines the prostitution of juveniles by analyzing incidents of this problem that come to the attention of law enforcement.

The Beat Within
This is a publication of the writings and art from Juvenile Halls and beyond. Their stories can be haunting and sad, yet useful in deterring youth from criminal behavior.

Victims of Violent Juvenile Crime
The Bulletin, which reflects the experience of 667,679 victims, examines characteristics of victims and offenders (age, gender, and relationship), types of offenses, use of guns, and injuries. The authors note that juvenile offenders are involved in about one-fifth of all nonfatal violent victimization.

Warning Signs
American Psychological Association provides youth with information about identifying the warning signs of violent behavior and how to get help if they recognize these signs in themselves or their peers.

An excellent site that represents the work of eight students at the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. It is a collection of stories that take a deep look at youth crime and violence.

Profile of Larry Swartz: The 'Sudden Fury' Murders
This is a tragic case of a boy who was pushed over the edge by his rigid parents and did the unthinkable.

Profile of Idaho Teen Killer Sarah Johnson
Sarah Johnson went from being a sweet teenager who liked volleyball to an enraged killer that brutally murdered her parents because they did not approve of her older boyfriend.

Children Who Kill Their Parents
Patricide contributes around 1% to all murders in the US, yet when children kill their parents it is one of the most shocking crimes.

The Murder of Micaela Costanzo
A smart, talented teen is brutally murdered by her childhood friend and his lover, for reasons only they know.

The Murder of Bridgett Frisbie
A 17-year-old high school student was gunned down by her good friend because he feared she would ruin his chances for a career in the armed forces.

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