Profile of Juv Offenders

Profile of Juv Offenders - PROFILE OF INCARCERATED...

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PROFILE OF INCARCERATED JUVENILES: COMPARISON OF MALE AND FEMALE OFFENDERS Don Martin, Magy Martin, Rex Dell, Candice Davis, and Karen Guerrieri ABSTRACT Effective methods of identifying potential juvenile offenders are critical when developing prevention programs within both state and national juvenile justice systems. The characteristics of juvenile offenders in a large juvenile justice system are examined in this study. Participants live in a Midwestern city with a high rate of crime as indicated by federal standards. Both male and female subjects were currently incarcerated (N = 363). The article highlights a basic psychological and behavioral profile of these juveniles in an effort to determine characteristics that might identify future juvenile offenders. The authors be- lieve that if future offenders can be identified, both school systems and commu- nity agencies may be better able to intervene in the cycle of juvenile crime and violence. JUVENILE JUSTICE It is becoming increasingly important to understand the characteris- tics of juvenile offenders in order to decrease and prevent juvenile delinquency (Jenson, Potter, & Howard, 2001; Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). According to FBI 2004 arrest statistics, juveniles committed 15.5% of violent crimes and 27.5% of property crimes (Puzzanchera, Adams, Snyder, & Kang, 2006). In 2002, juvenile offenders were in- volved in 8% of all murders, and the data surrounding violent juvenile crime indicates a recent escalating trend (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). These statistics provide a small sample of the evidence that juvenile crime is a complicated and important issue and that methods must be developed to prevent juveniles from or continuing their offending behavior into adulthood. Many researchers believe there is a strong link between juvenile delinquency, mental health problems, and traumatic experiences Reprint requests should be sent to Don Martin, Professor, Department of Counseling and Special Education, Youngstown State University, One Univer- sity Plaza, Youngstown, Ohio 44555. ADOLESCENCE, Vol. 43, No. 171, Fall 2008 Libra Publishers, Inc., 3089C Clairemont Dr., PMB 383, San Diego, CA 92117
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(Baer & Maschi, 2003; 1998; Dixon, Howie, & Starling, 2004; Ritakallio, Kaltiala-Heino, Kivi- seriously delinquent youth is often deficient due to trauma experienced early in childhood and adolescence. The most serious offenders enter the juvenile justice system with histories that include physical and sexual abuse, witnessing violent acts, parental substance abuse and neglect, and numerous mental health, developmental, and emotional issues (Baer & Maschi, 2003; Dixon, Howie, & Starling, 2005; Jenson et al., 2001). Snyder and Sickmund (2006) revealed
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Profile of Juv Offenders - PROFILE OF INCARCERATED...

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