Criminal activity on the part of children and adolescents represents one of our most significant social issues. Its importance is reflected in public opinion polls where the issue of youth crime is nearly always cited as one of the leading public concerns. It is also reflected in the media, where reports of youth crime, particularly violent crime, inevitably receive prominent coverage. It is represented as well in the rhetoric of some politicians who build political platforms around concerns about juvenile crime and who frequently advocate drastic solutions to the “problem.” I will explore these issues in more detail in the next chapter, but I want to reflect here on some of the reasons for this concern.
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