Juvenile Delinquents Grown Up

By Glueck Sheldon; Eleanor Glueck | Go to book overview

Chapter VII
TREND OF CONDUCT

IN the four preceding chapters we have described the behavior of our juvenile delinquents from childhood through three successive five-year periods after their handling by the Boston Juvenile Court and its affiliated community agencies. It will be recalled that these lads were of an average age of nine years and seven months when they showed the first signs of delinquency; we have traced their criminal careers from these early years until their age averaged twenty-nine years.1 The method of comparing their behavior in each of the three five-year periods with that in the period immediately preceding it has given us some idea of these changes, but we cannot clearly define the trend in their conduct until we compare their behavior during the three five-year periods with their conduct before they appeared in the Boston Juvenile Court.


TREND OF ARRESTS

The average age of the group at the time of the arrest for which they were brought before the Boston Juvenile Court was thirteen and a half years. Some two-thirds of the lads (62.5 per cent) had been apprehended one or more times prior to that particular arrest. The proportion arrested reached its peak during the first follow-up span, at which time 79.8 per cent were arrested. At the end of that period our youths were of an average age of nineteen years, almost three-fourths of them (70.8 per cent) being still under twenty-one. In the second follow-up period, there was a drop to 66.1 per cent in the proportion of those arrested, and a still further drop to 57.9 per cent in the third five-year period, by the end of which the men were an average age of twenty-nine years.2

The increase in the proportion of youths arrested during the first

____________________
1
See Appendix C, 1, for age distribution in each period.
2
Appendix C, 2. Doubtless the decrease is due partly to increasing facility in avoiding arrest.

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