In the field of crime it has become apparent that adult law-breakers are drawn in large numbers from the ranks of youthful offenders--lessons in crime are learned early and, all too often, well. It is not surprising, then, that sociologists, psychologists, and members of related disciplines are applying their knowledge and their skills to problems of prevention of juvenile delinquency and rehabilitation of "delinquents."
Numerous techniques and facilities designed to cope with these problems have appeared in recent years. And there has appeared also a multitude of articles on delinquency by authorities and "authorities." Many of the former, the authoritative writings, however, are found only in professional journals and thus are read by few. To meet this situation, this book makes available in one place a number of carefully selected writings by specialists in juvenile delinquency. The selection itself, the author believes, results in a collection of materials especially useful for teachers and for their students. Today's students will be the specialists and authorities of tomorrow.
The arrangement of the readings reflects the principal divisions of the field of juvenile delinquency, indicated by the chapter headings. The readings in each chapter are preceded by a brief textual discussion written to serve as a general guide for the student. But the readings themselves, it must be stressed, make this volume especially useful for both collegiate and professional instruction.
The readings, of course, do not cover the field; juvenile delinquency is a dynamic and, fortunately, an improving professional specialization. Nor could any such selection be viewed by the specialists themselves as altogether satisfactory. Certain articles may be considered classics in the future; others no doubt will be superseded. Some excellent articles were purposely excluded because they are available in other collections of readings. And a number of contributions of "practical men" were purposely included so that the student might have at hand insightful observations that characteristically are not exploited in the classroom. This combination of contributions from administrative and academic specialists, it is hoped, will help to pave the way for greater cooperation and larger understanding in the controversial field of juvenile delinquency.
The author's largest indebtedness, clearly enough, is to those silent partners who made this book a possibility. These include the authors of the readings from the following publications and the editors of these journals, who granted . . .