There are several ways that youth crime are counted: police (UCR), court statistics,
victimization surveys, self-report surveys and all have errors with overrepresentation and
There are lots of different police agencies that send reports to create the UCR which
reports the incident and if a suspect was found. They do this to show the community they
are doing their job and to report on the prevalence of crime.
Victimization surveys give more information on actual victimization rates in society
instead of just those reported to the police. They still are not 100% accurate due to
misrepresentation of victimizations, fear of retaliation, different perceptions of what
crime is and also telescoping (saying a crime happened at a certain time when it was
actually a different time). There is over reporting of certain crimes and underreporting of
others. Does not capture things where people do not know they have been victimized
such as pickpocketing, stolen jewellery etc. or offences where there is seemingly no
victim such as prostitution and drugs. Very serious crimes such as murder, white collar
crimes and mafia are not included. Focuses on street level crime against the person and
Self-report surveys show the participation in criminal activities. There are issues here
because of underreporting in case of authorities finding out, confidentiality of the surveys
is an issue. Can be overreporting of certain crimes for prestige or cool factors. Reveals
that there is actually more crime out there than suspected and that girls rates are
comparable to boys rates. There are also issues of telescoping, misunderstanding
questions, different definitions of crime etc.
Court statistics are only useful info on the general scope of young offenders and actually
tell us more about the youth justice system than about the offenders themselves. Only
people who are charged and come in contact with the court system.
There are issues with reliability (truthfulness) and validity (repeatability). Self report and
victimization surveys are the only ones that give true crime statistics and these have
troubles. Some studies say they have the truth.
There are issues with memory recall. Brain chemistry and thinking is different in teens
than adults. Have issues with timelines.
Mostly focused on male offending and only recently started focusing on female offending
and how they differ. Female gang related crime has only been assessed in the past 20yrs.
12-13 less serious offending behaviour, 15-17 more serious crimes such as homicide and
armed robbery. 12-13yr olds show 11% youth crimes.
Certain races and ethnicities are targeted by police and communities. We often associate
gangs with certain ethnicities which creates moral panics such as Aboriginal gangs, Asian
Victims are the ignored problem. We focus on the offending and not the victims. Youth
are disproportionately victims of crimes. Young girls are more likely to be sexually
assaulted than anyone, boys at age 4. Most of the youth involved in the justice system
have been victimized themselves, usually at home by some kind of abuse. Broken Homes Hypothesis-Divorce, death, abandonment of one parent creates vagrants
and delinquent behaviour. Idea that a single parent household has more issues than a 1
parent household especially if the parent is a woman and the child is a boy. Lack of a
parental father figure is devastating to children and significantly impacts delinquency.
Parenting styles-Authoritarian is no warmth and lots of discipline/demands; Authoritative
is both warmth and demanding this is the best because it employs caring and discipline
but there are reasons for the discipline and child is actively involved in making decisions.
Permissive/indulgent is lots of warmth and no discipline; Disengaged/indifferent are no
warmth or discipline basically neglectful so the child has to fend for themselves. Parents
must meet the emotional, physical and social needs of a child. This is also bidirectional
Schools are likened to prisons with no windows, metal detectors, dull colours, bell that
tells you where you are to go at what time, days are planned and structured etc. Structures
of school indirectly contribute to delinquent behaviour through policy, teachers etc.
Students of different classes, age groups etc are pushed together in one area forced to
coincide together on a daily basis. Bullying, cyber bullying etc.
Social control-zero tolerance is the idea of small offences being severely punished such
as 3 minor infractions and you are expelled. On the streets during the day with no
structure increases the likelihood of delinquent behaviour. Net widening effect of having
more people in the justice system from infractions caused indirectly by the school.
IQ testing and standardized tests also cause delinquency. Tests usually have a class and
cultural bias this is evidenced in culturally specific language and questions that persons
of other cultures may not be able to answer correctly also certain moral questions may
lead a poor child to keep a wallet they find on the floor for the money, a minority person
may just ignore it for fear of being labelled as the offender who stole it. Also other
cultures may have different perceptions on what is appropriate to do in situations like
that. The results of these tests then lead to tracking which is where the school puts them
in a certain track such as advanced, college, remedial etc. This then has issues for further
education, careers and indirectly can create delinquents because of a lack of the same
opportunities than others.
Peers and gangs-peer relationships can be important especially if parents do not provide
all the supports for their child. Gangs provide a second family a social outlet, friends,
family structure, excitement and thrill, economic advantages. Also people who have
strong connections and trust peers are actually less likely to be delinquent than those who
do not trust peers.
It’s a girl’s world
Bullying starts in kindergarten or pre-school. Bullying can be subtle and unknown to
parents. Parents do not think they should get involved and often did nothing but argue
about the bullying that was happening.
Parallel behaviours between the children in the mediation group and the mothers
watching the video. Idea from the girls that you don’t trust anyone and if you do you
hope it’s the right person to trust.
Parents do not see this side of their children so do not deal with the problems
Parents tell their children to tell their opinion but the girls don’t see any benefit in that. Every perception the girls have is flawed and wrong. Parents are surprised at how the
girls interact with the fascilitator
As they are developing a sense of morality they are already disengaging from morality
because being a bitch is considered cool.
Dawm-marie killed herself at 14 because she was being bullied, she named 3 girls in her
suicide note. People spread rumours about her and she kept all of her emotions bottled up
because she thought things would get worse if she told an adult. D.W. threatened her.
D.W. was mostly worried about hers