The Juvenile in Delinquent Society

The Juvenile in Delinquent Society

The Juvenile in Delinquent Society

The Juvenile in Delinquent Society

Excerpt

Few of our social problems bring out the lack of a scientific approach to human relations so vividly as does juvenile delinquency. American society is marked by the great value it places upon the scientific method. Yet it manifests very little of it in dealing with the major problem affecting its children. Following World War II this could be observed in the reaction of many Americans to the general decline in cases of juvenile delinquency reported by the police, courts, and other statistics gathering agencies. The feeling prevailed that in such statistics- one had a clear measure of the declining importance of the problem itself; but systematic study at that time would have revealed no sound basis for such optimism. As a matter of fact, soon afterwards in several jurisdictions there was a rise in reported cases. The problem has an underlying tenacity that defies the cyclical influence of war and peace. Careful analysis will demonstrate that it is unrealistic to expect any significant reduction of the problem within the existing framework of programs, agencies, and personnel devoted to treatment and prevention.

The central theme of this book is implicit in its title. It is that the problem of juvenile delinquency can best be understood on the one hand and reduced on the other hand in a comprehensive, societal frame of reference. When juveniles live in a "delin-

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