Juvenile Delinquents Grown Up

By Glueck Sheldon; Eleanor Glueck | Go to book overview

Chapter I
INTRODUCTION

THE significance of follow-up studies of the results of penocorrectional treatment need no longer be labored. Not only do such researches furnish a gauge of the effectiveness of social institutions developed for coping with the problems of delinquency and crime, but they furnish an insight into the natural history of delinquents and criminals, into the changes in their behavior with advancing years and under the impact of different environmental stimuli.

In 1934 we published the results of an investigation of a thousand boy delinquents who had been brought into the Boston Juvenile Court and who had been examined, at the request of the Court, in the Clinic of the Judge Baker Foundation1 during the years 1917- 1922, when they were of an average age of thirteen and a half years.2 The major emphasis in that work was on the amount of recidivism among these youths during a five-year period following the completion of the treatment that had been carried out by the Court and its affiliated community agencies. It was concerned, also, with the effectiveness of the coordination of the Court and Clinic in following the prescribed treatment, and with an analysis of the reasons why many of the Clinic's recommendations to the Court had not been followed.

As part of that study the personal traits and environmental backgrounds of the juvenile offenders were analyzed, not only to describe the delinquents in some detail but also to determine whether there are constellations of traits on the basis of which the future behavior of delinquents can be predicted.

Some ten years have elapsed since the end of the first five-year follow-up period. What has happened to these one thousand juvenile delinquents during this time? Have they gone from bad to

____________________
1
Now known as the Judge Baker Guidance Center.
2
One Thousand Juvenile Delinquents, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1934.

-1-

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