Juvenile Justice Quiz 1

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48 Terms


an individual under the age of 18, protected by juvenile courts/laws

Juvenile Justice System

segment of the justice system, including law enforcement officers, the courts, and correctional agencies, designed to treat youthful offenders


participation in illegal behavior, in this case by a minor who falls under a statutory age limit (18)

Chancery Courts

court proceedings created in fifteenth-century England to oversee the lives of highborn minors who were orphaned or otherwise could not care for themselves


relationship between 2 measurements/behaviors that move in same direction


relationship in which a change in 1 measurement/behavior creates a recognizable change in another measurement/behavior


when the proportion of a racial or ethnic group within the control of the system is greater than the proportion of such groups in the general population


any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life


use of personal decision making and choice in carrying out operations in the criminal justice system, such as deciding whether to make an arrest or when to accept a plea bargain


the process of abstaining from crime by those with a previous pattern of offending (growing out of juvenile delinquency once reach adulthood)

Restorative Justice

using humanistic, nonpunitive strategies to right wrongs and restore social harmony

Age-Crime Curve

the observation that criminal behavior increases in adolescence and decreases in adulthood

Parens Patriae

the State is to act as a substitute parent to a child whose parents, for one reason or another, cannot properly raise the child

Status Offense

conduct that is illegal only because the child is underage


normlessness produced by rapidly shifting moral values; according to Merton, anomie occurs when personal goals cannot be achieved using available means


frustrations felt by individuals who cannot reach goals (financial and personal)

Differential Association Theory

asserts that criminal behavior is learned primarily within interpersonal groups and that youths will become delinquent if definitions they have learned favorable to violating the law exceed definitions favorable to obeying the law within that group

Cultural Transmission

cultural norms and values are passed down from one generation to the next

Social Bond

ties a person to the institutions and processes of society; elements of the bond include attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief

Symbolic Interaction

holds that people communicate via symbols--gestures, signs, words, or images--that stand for or represent something else

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

deviant behavior patterns that are a response to an earlier labeling experience; youths act out these social roles even if they were falsely bestowed

Adolescent-Limited Offenders

kids who get into minor scrapes as youths but whose misbehavior ends when they enter adulthood

Life-Course Persisters

delinquents who begin their offending career at a very early age and continue to offend well into adulthood

Disposition Hearing

the social service agency presents its case plan and recommendations for care of the child and treatment of the parents, including incarceration and counseling or other treatment

Adolescent dilemmas/problems

Erik Erikson - adolescents struggle to find who they are in perspective to everyone in population Problems/dilemmas: teenage years/puberty, homelife issues, peer pressure, bullying, 20% in poverty, mental health deterioration, substance abuse

Juvenile Justice System (history, function, case path, diff. between adult and juvenile system)

  1. Child Savers: nineteenth century reformers who developed programs for troubled youth and influenced legislation creating the juvenile justice system; today some critics view them as being more concerned with control of the poor than with their welfare

  2. procedures are informal and nonadversarial, invoked for the juvenile offender rather than against him or her; a petition instead of a complaint is filed; courts make finding of involvement or adjudication of delinquency instead of convictions; juvenile offenders recieve dispositions instead of sentences

  3. juvenile: rehabilitation and treatment primary goals, less public implication to keep stigma of juveniles' lives protected, more psychological approach and assessment of juvenile's background, juvenile faces hearing not a trial, option of preventative detention, juveniles are referred to as "delinquent" rather than "guilty" adult: criminal sanctions and sentencing proportional to offense (use of deterrence), all court proceedings open to public, defendants have right to trial largely based on legal facts, right to apply for bond or bail in some offenses, "innocent or guilty" and sentenced for appropriate time based on severity and criminal history

Four Sources to measure offenses/victimization

  1. UCR (Uniform Crime Report, 1930s)

  2. NCVS (National Crime Victimization Survey, 1972)

  3. Self-Reported Surveys (1976ish)

  4. NIBRS (National Incident-Based Reporting System, 1989)


  1. local law officers report known cases of crime (# of crimes, # offenders arrested), given directly from law enforcement

  2. 2x annual reports, victims/past offenders willing to report anonymously (uncover dark crime), no report error from citizens to police

  3. personal interviews, won't get in trouble if admitting to participation in criminal activity (uncover dark crime), law enforcement gains info on some victimless crimes

  4. collects data in categorized offenses (detailed descriptions on criminal behavior patterns), covers state and national statistics


  1. not every local crime is reported, discretion varies by locality

  2. not getting info from 11 y/o or older, only 90,000 households surveyed, inaccuracies reported as fact, surveys contain confusing jargon

  3. subject to bias, not always honest in fear of being convicted

  4. relies on officer accountability to report crimes accurately, only 33 states use, state statute and NIBRS plans don't always align

Trends in Delinquency

DECREASE in juvenile delinquency nationally over the past several decades

Juvenile Victimization Trends

National Child Protective Services

Rational Choice Theory

school of criminology that holds that wrongdoers weigh the possible benefits of criminal or delinquent activity against the expected costs of being apprehended

Routine Activities Theory

view that crime is a "normal" function of the routine activities of modern living; offenses can be expected if there is a motivated offender and a suitable target that is not protected by capable guardians

Deterrence Theory

rational juveniles will choose not to break the law because of either the threat or actual receipt of punishment

Biosocial Theories

biological characteristics, such as genetic and hormonal factors, are important predictors of antisocial behavior

Psychological Theories

regard the deviant behavior of youths as a result of unresolved instincts and drives within the human psyche

Behavioral Theories

posits that social behavior is learned; for example, when children see parents use aggression as a form of discipline, they begin to view aggression as a style of conflict resolution

Cognitive Theory

branch of psychology that studies the perception of reality and the mental processes required to understand the world we live in

Social Disorganization Theory

the inability of a community to exert social control allows youths the freedom to engage in illegal activity

Strain Theory

links delinquency to the strain of being locked out of economic mainatream, which creates the anger and frustration that lead to delinquent acts

Cultural Deviance Theories

a unique lower-class culture develops in disorganized neighborhoods whose unique set of values and beliefs puts residents in conflict with conventional social norms

Social Process Theories

school of criminology that considers criminal behavior to be the predictable result of a persons interaction with his or her environment


attitudes or beliefs that allow would-be delinquents to negate any moral aprehension they might have about committing crime so that they may freely engage in antisocial behavior without regret

Social Control

ability of social institutions to influence human behavior; the justice system is the primary agency of formal social control

Labeling Theory

posits that society creates deviance through a system of social control agencies that designate (or label) certain individuals as delinquent, thereby stigmatizing youths and encouraging them to accept this negative personal identity

Social Conflict Theory

asserts that society is in a state of constant internal conflict, and focuses on the role of government and social institutions as mechanisms for social control

Life Course

focus on changes in criminality over course of one's lifel developmental theory

Control Theories

suggests that delinquent adolescents fail to develop societal bonds consisting of (1) attachment to parents, peers, and school; (2) occupational and educational commitment; (3) academic involvement; and (4) belief in social rules and convention