Violent Youth Crime on the Rise in Gang Culture, US Report Finds
Linda Feldmann, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor
VIOLENT crime by juveniles rose by a staggering 68 percent in the four-year period between 1988 and 1992, according to a Justice Department report released yesterday.
In 1992, the department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention recorded 118,600 court cases in which youths under age 18 were charged with murder, rape, robbery, or aggravated assault. Overall, the national caseload for juveniles grew by 26 percent from 1987 to 1992, and drug cases fell by 12 percent.
But the statistics on violent juvenile crime, though not unexpected, are cause for alarm, experts say.
"This is the coming of age of children whose mothers were very involved in crack," says Adele Harrell, a specialist on at-risk youth at the Urban Institute, a think tank in Washington.
"In some cities, 10 to 30 percent of children are not living with either parent," Ms Harrell adds. "Child abuse and neglect cases are through the roof. …