Demystifying Crime and Criminal Justice Chapter 4: The Myth That Violent Juveniles Will Become Adult Criminals I. The Myth a. In the 1990s, a shift occurred in the policy and philosophy of juvenile justice. 1. DiIulio argued that violent juvenile crime was rising and would continue to rise to the point of becoming an epidemic. 1. Superpredator, which defined violent youth as lawless, godless, fatherless, and among the worst criminals to ever exist. 2. Also asserted that juvenile criminals were the most violent and worst offenders in the criminal justice system. 3. Young offenders were not redeemable and were destined to continue offending into adulthood, regardless of system intervention. b. The myth that violent juveniles will become adult criminals is founded on three beliefs: 1. Violent juvenile crime is on the rise 2. Juvenile crime is primarily violent, creating a class of superpredators 3. Violent juvenile offenders continue to offend into adulthood no matter what the system does to rehabilitate them II. Myth Part 1: Violent Juvenile Crime is on the Rise a. Political conservatives claimed that family was in a state of moral decay and that children were growing up fatherless, jobless, and godless, and dependent on welfare moms. b. Fear about the explosion of violent juvenile crime was driven by a prediction of increases in the juvenile population in general. c. Fox Pierce dramatic increase in youth crime would occur by the year 2005 because by then, the number of 1619 year olds would rise 28 among blacks and 47 among Hispanics. 1. Claims were made that increases in the minority population would translate directly into increases in crime. 2. Such predictions increased fear of minority groups and prompted legal changes that disproportionately impacted minority groups. III. Myth Part 2: Juvenile Offenders Are SuperPredators a. Assertion that juveniles were violent are predominately responsible for violent crimes. b. The Weekly Standard, DiIulio on the horizon are tens of thousands of severely morally impoverished juvenile superpredators, juveniles are doing homicidal violence in wolf packs c. Promoted by politicians and academics, supported the belief that lawless, godless juveniles should be treated more harshly by the system. d. Youth were less likely to be portrayed as juveniles in need of treatment and guidance, but as predators who deserved punishment.