Juvenile Delinquents Grown Up

By Glueck Sheldon; Eleanor Glueck | Go to book overview

Chapter IX
COMPARISON OF REFORMED AND UNREFORMED OFFENDERS

IN the previous chapter it was inferentially determined that the biological process of maturation is the chief factor in the behavior changes of criminals. Whether, with the passage of time, certain factors--personal and social--in the early lives of our former juvenile delinquents inhibited or accelerated the natural process of maturation and the growing differentiation between the two groups may be at least partially determined from a series of three comparisons dealing with the characteristics of the delinquents at the time of, or prior to, their appearance in the Boston Juvenile Court. From comparisons between (1) those who reformed and those who continued to recidivate; (2) those who reformed when they were under twenty-one and those who did not reform until they were older; and (3) those who remained serious delinquents and those who became minor offenders, there should at least emerge suggestive clues to the factors which tend to aid or hamper the biological process of maturation.

The first comparison is the subject of the present chapter.1 The other two will be dealt with in the succeeding chapters.

____________________
1
In comparing those juvenile delinquents who reformed during the fifteen-year span with those who did not, we are omitting from consideration 40 youths whom we had to designate as "erratic" offenders during the fifteen-year span because they did not definitely progress from more to less serious delinquency or to non-delinquency. Two of the 40 were non-delinquents during the first and second five-year follow-up periods and serious offenders in the third; 2 were minor offenders during the first five-year span, serious offenders during the second, and non-delinquents during the third; 5 were non-delinquents during the first five years but serious or minor offenders during the second and third. Six were serious offenders during the first five-year span, minor in the second, and again serious in the third; 4 were minor offenders during the first and second five years and serious offenders in the third; 5 were minor offenders during the first five-year span and serious offenders during the second and third; 4 were non-delinquents during the first and second follow-up spans and minor in the third; one was a minor offender during the first five-year period, non-delinquent during the second, and minor during the third; 4 were serious delinquents during the first five-year period, non-delinquents during the second, and again serious

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