Myth Of Juvenile Crime Essay

Decent Essays

1. What was the super predator myth? How did its proponents support their claims? Did the predicted juvenile crime wave occur, and if not, what did affect juvenile crime trends in the late 1990’s? The super predator myth began with predictions of future increases in youth violence made by James Q. Wilson and John Dilulio. They made claims that by 2010 there would be more juvenile “muggers, killers and thieves” and that this new wave would be upon us by 2000. This myth caused government responses towards juvenile crime to be dominated by fear of the young, anxiety about immigrants and racial hatred of the poor. The predictions of a juvenile crime wave were wrong, instead juvenile crime rates began to steadily decline. In 1994 juvenile crime rates were reaching low levels that had not been seen since the late 1970’s. However, the public was not seeing this decline, in a survey it was shown that 60% of the public believed youth were responsible for most of the violent crimes. But in reality youth under 18 years accounted for only 13% …show more content…

If offenders are incarcerated they cannot commit offenses in the community but incarceration does not guarantee the stop of delinquent behavior. The vast majority of youngsters incarcerated in juvenile and correctional facilities have been convicted of nonviolent offenses. Therefore, if policies mandated longer periods of incarceration then most likely minor offenders would have extended incarceration. And even if we focus on high risk juvenile offenders, they do not remain high risk forever, according to the text the peak of serious violent crime age is between 16 and 17. The likelihood that individuals will commit violent crimes during ages of 21-27 is approximately the same as for a child the age of 12 or 13. Studies of youths released by the CYA show that longer sentences for youthful offenders would have little to no impact on overall societal rates of violent

Get Access