After providing a history of the development of the juvenile court, this book explores some of the most important current controversies in juvenile justice. Original essays review major theories of juvenile delinquency, explore psychological and biological factors that may explain delinquent behavior, and examine the nexus between substance abuse and delinquency. A final chapter provides a comparative analysis.

Key Features

  • Text supplemented with photos, charts, tables and illustrations.

Table of Contents

1. Reflections on Youth and Juvenile Justice

2. What Causes Delinquency? Classical and Sociological Theories of Crime

3. Delinquency Theory: Examining Delinquency and Aggression through a Biopsychosocial Approach

4. Youth, Drugs, and Delinquency

5. Violence and Schools: The Problem, Prevention, and Policies

6. A World of Risk: Victimized Children in the Juvenile Justice System – An Ecological Explanation, a Holistic Solution

7. Prosecuting Juvenile Offenders in Criminal Court

8. Youth Behind Bars: Doing Justice or Doing Harm?

9. Race, Delinquency, and Discrimination: Minorities in the Juvenile Justice System

10. In Trouble and Ignored: Female Delinquents in America

11. Sentenced to Die: Controversy and Change in the Ultimate Sanction for Juvenile Offenders

12. Comparative Juvenile Justice Policy: Lessons from Other Countries


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© 2009
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About the authors

Alida Merlo

Alida V. Merlo is a Professor in the Department of Criminology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her current research interests include juvenile justice, criminal justice policy, and women and the law. Merlo is coauthor of several books, including Anderson’s Controversies in Juvenile Justice and Delinquency and Crime Control, Politics, and Policy. She is a past president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and recipient of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Fellow and Founders Awards. She serves on the editorial board of Crime and Delinquency, the International Journal of Police Science and Management, Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, and Women and Criminal Justice.