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Chapter 2 The Nature and Extent of Delinquency Chapter Objectives Student should be able to: 1. Be familiar with how the UCR data are gathered and used. 2. Discuss the concept of self-reported delinquency. 3. Be familiar with the National Crime Victimization Survey. 4. Discuss alternative measures of delinquent activity and behavior. 5. Be familiar with recent trends in juvenile delinquency. 6. Recognize the factors that affect the juvenile crime rate. 7. List and discuss the social and personal correlates of delinquency. 8. Discuss the concept of the chronic offender. 9. Identify the causes of chronic offending. 10. Be familiar with the factors that predict teen victimization.

Chapter Outline I. Introduction II. Gathering Information on Delinquency A. Official Records of Delinquency: The Uniform Crime Report 1. Compiling the Uniform Crime Report 2. Validity of the UCR B. The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) III. Self-Report Surveys A. Validity of Self-Reports B. National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) IV. Secondary Sources of Delinquency Data A. Cohort Research Data B. Experimental Data C. Observational and Interview Research D. Meta-analysis and Systematic Review E. Data Mining F. Crime Mapping V. Crime and Delinquency Trends in the United States A. What the UCR Tells Us 1. Official Delinquency 2. Juvenile Crime Trends


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B. Focus on Delinquency: Shaping Delinquency Trends 1. Age 2. Economy/Jobs 3. Immigration 4. Social Malaise 5. Abortion 6. Guns 7. Gangs 8. Drug Use 9. Media 10. Juvenile Justice Policy C. Self-Reported Findings D. Are the Data Sources Compatible? E. What the Future Holds VI. Correlates of Delinquency A. The Time and Place of Delinquency B. Gender and Delinquency C. Case Profile: Jamesetta’s Story D. Race and Delinquency 1. Bias Effects? 2. Race Matters E. Socioeconomic Status (SES) and Delinquency 1. Research on Social Class and Delinquency F. Age and Delinquency 1. Why Age Matters 2. Why Does Crime Decline with Age? VII. Chronic Offending: Careers in Delinquency A. Delinquency in a Birth Cohort B. Stability in Crime: From Delinquent to Criminal C. What Causes Chronic Offending? D. Policy Implications VIII. Juvenile Victimization A. Teen Victims B. Focus on Delinquency: Adolescent Victims of Violence 1. What are the Outcomes of Abuse and Violence?

Chapter Summary This chapter deals with the nature and extent of delinquency. It examines how much crime juveniles commit and the types of crimes they commit. Each year the U.S. Justice Department’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) compiles information gathered by police departments on the number of criminal acts reported by citizens and the number of persons arrested This information is published in the Uniform Crime Report (UCR), the most widely used source of national crime and delinquency statistics. The U.S. crime rate skyrocketed between 1960, when 3.3 million crimes were reported to police agencies, and 1981, when more than 13 million crime were recorded. In the 1990s the crime rate dropped dramatically.


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In 2006, more than 14 million arrests were made, or about 5,000 per 100,000 population. Of these, more than 2 million were for serious Part I crimes and 12 million for less serious Part II crimes. Juveniles under 18 were responsible for about 16 percent of the Part I violent crime arrests and 26 percent of the Part I property crime arrests. Juvenile crime trends have shown some improvement over the last 10 years, however, there was a disturbing uptick in juvenile violent crime arrests in 2006. For example, 1,700 youths were arrested for murder in 1997, but by 2006 that number had declined to 950. There has always been a debate about how valid the UCR data is. Certainly, most researchers agree that the UCR seriously underreports the amount of crime in this country. Hopefully, this will be improved with the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). This program will require local police agencies to provide at least a brief account of each incident and arrest, including the incident, victim, and offender information. Since the UCR data is problematic, other systems of collecting data have been created. One such system is the self-report study. This technique asks individuals if they have ever committed a certain type of crime. This self-report survey is very reliable in eliciting information from people who have violated the law but have not been caught. The annual national self-report survey, called Monitoring the Future (MTF) samples about 3,000 youths. An important aspect of delinquency research is measurement of the personal traits and social characteristics associated with adolescent misbehavior. The chapter discusses the characteristics of gender, (sex) race, social class, and age. Researchers know that males are significantly more delinquent than females. Official statistics show that minority youths are much more likely than white youths to be arrested for serious criminal behavior. The chapter examines the controversy over whether minorities actually commit more crime or if minorities show up more in the criminal statistics because of police bias. The social class-delinquency relationship was challenged by pioneering self-report studies, specifically those that revealed no direct relationship between social class and the commission of delinquent acts. Instead, socioeconomic class was related to the manner of official processing by police, court, and correctional agencies. In other words, though both poor and affluent kids get into fights, shoplift, and take drugs, only the indigent are likely to be arrested and sent to juvenile court. Age is inversely related to criminality. As youthful offenders mature, their offending rates decline. This is called the aging-out process. The other major issue with age is the juvenile age at the onset of delinquency. The concept of the chronic career offender is most closely associated with the research efforts of Marvin Wolfgang. In 1972, Wolfgang, Robert Figlio, and Thorsten Sellin published a landmark study, Delinquency in a Birth Cohort. This study followed 9,945 boys born in Philadelphia from birth until they reached age 18. The researchers found that a relatively few chronic offenders are responsible for a significant portion of all delinquent acts. The chapter ends with a discussion of victims and how juveniles become victims of crimes. It explains that victims are usually young ranging in age from 16 to 25.

Key Terms FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI): Arm of the U.S. Department of Justice that investigates violations of federal law, gathers crime statistics, runs a comprehensive crime laboratory, and helps trail local law enforcement officers. (p. 36)


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UNIFORM CRIME REPORT (UCR): Compiled by the FBI, the UCR is the most widely used source of national crime and delinquency statistics. (p. 36) PART I CRIMES: (also known as index crimes) Offenses including homicide and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, arson, and motor vehicle theft; recorded by local law enforcement officers, these crimes are tallied quarterly and sent to the FBI for inclusion in the UCR. (p. 36) PART II CRIMES: All crimes other than Part I offenses; recorded by local law enforcement officers, arrests for these crimes are tallied quarterly and sent to the FBI for inclusion in the UCR. (p. 36) SELF-REPORT SURVEY: Questionnaire or survey technique that asks subjects to reveal their own participation in delinquent or criminal acts. (p. 39) NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMIZATION SURVEY (NCVS): The ongoing victimization study conducted jointly by the Justice Department and the U.S. Census Bureau that surveys victims about their experiences with law violation. (p. 40) META-ANALYSIS: A research technique that uses the grouped data from several different studies. (p. 41) SYSTEMATIC REVIEW: A research technique that involves collecting the findings from previously conducted studies, appraising and synthesizing the evidence, and using the collective evidence to address a particular scientific question. (p. 41) CRIME MAPPING: A research technique that employs computerized crime maps and other graphic representations of crime data patterns (p. 42) DISAGGREGATED: Analyzing the relationship between two or more independent variables (such as murder convictions and death sentence) while controlling for the influence of a dependent variable (such as race). (p. 43) RACIAL THREAT THEORY: As the size of the black population increases, the perceived threat to the white population increases, resulting in a greater amount of social control imposed against blacks (p. 51) AGING-OUT PROCESS: (also known as desistance from crime or spontaneous remission) The tendency for youths to reduce the frequency of their offending behavior as they age; aging out is thought to occur among all groups of offenders (p. 54) AGE OF ONSET: Age at which youths begin their delinquent careers; early onset is believed to be linked with chronic offending patterns. (p. 54) CHRONICLE JUVENILE OFFENDERS: (also known as chronic delinquent offenders, chronic delinquents, or chronic recidivists) A subset of juvenile offenders who begin their delinquent careers at a young age, have serious and persistent brushes with the law, including five or more arrests, are excessively violent and destructive, and do not age out of crime but continue their law-violating behavior into adulthood. (p. 55) CONTINUITY OF CRIME: The idea that chronic juvenile offenders are likely to continue violating the law as adults. (p. 57) VICTIMIZATION: The number of people who are victims of criminal acts; young teens are 15 times more likely than older adults (age 65 and over) to be victims of crimes. (p. 59)


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Discussion Topics 1. Discuss with the students the three methods for collecting juvenile crime data. 2. What have the crimes trends indicated for the last fifteen years. Are the trends consistent with the general perception of the public? 3. What is the effect of the media on juvenile delinquency? Discuss with the students the possible effect of rap music on juvenile crime. 4. Discuss the controversial work of John J. Donohue and Steven Levitt about the affects of abortion on juvenile crime. 5. Discuss the effect of age on crime.

Classroom Activities 1. Have your students bring in some of the most violent rap and gangster rap that they own. Discuss the effects of this music on juvenile delinquency. 2. Introduce your students to the FBI web site and have them explore the statistics on juvenile crime. 3. Have the students compare current juvenile murder rates with murders rates in the 50s and 60s.


Solution manual juvenile delinquency 10th edition siegel  

solution manual juvenile delinquency 10th edition siegel. Full file at

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