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Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice
A Guide to Theory, Policy, and Practice

Ninth Edition
Experience with SAGE edge

© 2018 | 488 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

“The text is written from a practical standpoint, which students are likely to understand and appreciate.”

—Lindsey Livingston Runell, J.D., Ph.D., Kutztown University


Brief, focused, and up-to-date, Juvenile Justice: A Guide to Theory, Policy, and Practice, Ninth Edition, is a must-have text that takes students on a journey through the practical realities of the juvenile justice system and the most current topics in the field. Students not only learn about the history, process, and theories of the juvenile justice system, but they also gain access to the latest crime measurements and explore important issues such as community-based sanctions, treatment and rehabilitation, gangs, and international youth crime. Emphasizing evidence-based practices, the authors guide readers through the methods and problems of the system and offer realistic insights for students interested in a career in juvenile justice. Real-life examples, excellent pedagogical features, and a complete online ancillary package are provided to help instructors effectively teach the course and help students learn interactively. 

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Chapter 1. Juvenile Justice in Historical Perspective
What Would You Do?  
Juvenile Justice Historically  
Continuing Dilemmas in Juvenile Justice  
Rethinking Juvenile Justice  
Key Terms  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 2. Defining and Measuring Offenses by and Against Juveniles
What Would You Do?  
Legal Definitions  
Changing Definitions  
Age Ambiguity  
Inaccurate Images of Offenders and Victims  
Behavioral Definitions  
Official Statistics: Sources and Problems  
Official Delinquency Statistics  
Official Statistics on Abuse and Neglect  
National Crime Victimization Survey  
Sources of Error in Official Statistics  
Unofficial Sources of Data  
Self-Report Studies  
Police Observational Studies  
Key Terms  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 3. Characteristics of Juvenile Offenders
What Would You Do?  
Social Factors  
Social Class  
Physical Factors  
Key Terms  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 4. Theories of Causation
What Would You Do?  
Scientific Theory  
Some Early Theories  
Classical Theory  
Rational Choice Theory  
Deterrence Theory  
Routine Activities Theory  
The Positivist School  
Biological Theories  
Cesare Lombroso’s “Born Criminal” Theory  
Other Biological Theories  
Biosocial/Neurological Theory  
Psychological Theories  
Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic Approach  
Behaviorism and Learning Theory  
Sociological Theories  
Anomie and Strain Theory  
Ecological/Social Disorganization Approach  
Edwin Sutherland’s Differential Association Theory  
Labeling Theory  
Conflict, Radical, Critical, and Marxist Theories  
Control Theories  
Integrated Theories  
Key Terms  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 5. Child Abuse and Neglect
What Would You Do?  
Child Maltreatment  
Physical Abuse  
Child Neglect  
Emotional Abuse of Children  
Sexual Abuse of Children  
Internet Exploitation  
Key Terms  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 6. Purpose and Scope of Juvenile Court Acts
What Would You Do?  
Comparison of Adult Criminal Justice and Juvenile Justice Systems  
Protecting the Juvenile From Stigmatization  
Maintaining the Family Unit  
Preserving Constitutional Rights in Juvenile Court Proceedings  
Delinquent Acts  
Unruly Children  
Deprived, Neglected, or Dependent Children  
Concurrent, Exclusive, and Blended Jurisdiction  
Double Jeopardy  
Key Terms  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 7. Juvenile Justice Procedures
What Would You Do?  
Rights of Juveniles  
Taking Into Custody  
Detention Hearing  
Detention or Shelter Care  
Preliminary Conference  
Adjudicatory Hearing  
Social Background Investigation, Social Summary Report, Presentence Investigation, or Predisposition Investigation  
Dispositional Hearing  
Key Terms  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 8. Juveniles and the Police
What Would You Do?  
Police Discretion in Encounters With Juveniles  
Unofficial Procedures  
Official Procedures  
Training and Competence of Juvenile Officers  
Police–School Resource Officer and Liaison Programs  
Community-Oriented Policing and Juveniles  
Police and Juvenile Court  
Key Terms  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 9. Key Figures in Juvenile Court Proceedings
What Would You Do?  
Defense Counsel  
Relationship Between the Prosecutor and Defense Counsel: Adversarial or Cooperative?  
Juvenile Court Judge  
Juvenile Probation Officer  
Children and Family Services Personnel  
Court-Appointed Special Advocates  
Training and Competence of Juvenile Court Personnel  
Key Terms  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 10. Prevention and Diversion Programs
What Would You Do?  
Diversion Programs  
Examples of Prevention and Diversion Programs  
School Programs  
Wilderness Programs  
Restorative Justice Programs  
Children and Family Services  
Federal Programs  
Other Diversion and Prevention Programs/Therapeutic Courts  
Some Criticisms  
Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Programs  
Key Terms  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 11. Dispositional Alternatives
What Would You Do?  
Foster Homes  
Treatment Centers  
Juvenile Corrections  
Capital Punishment and Youthful Offenders  
Possible Solutions  
Key Terms  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 12. Violent Juveniles and Gangs
What Would You Do?  
Violent Juveniles  
Juvenile Homicide and Juvenile Violence  
Brief History of Gangs  
Defining and Identifying Street Gangs  
Roles and Activities of Juvenile Versus Adult Gang Members  
Gang Affiliation and Identification Along Racial Lines  
Delinquent and Criminal Gang Activities  
Gang Membership  
Juvenile Girls and Gang Membership  
Response of Justice Network to Gangs  
Public, Legislative, and Judicial Reaction  
Alternatives to Incarceration for Violent Juveniles  
Establishing a Juvenile Gang Exit Program  
Key Terms  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 13. Global Issues in Juvenile Justice
What Would You Do?  
Problems With Delinquency in the Global Community  
Characteristics of Juvenile Delinquents Around the World  
Juveniles as Victims of Crime  
Juvenile Exploitation and Delinquency  
Juvenile Exploitation in Underdeveloped and War-Torn Areas  
Urbanization and Delinquency in Developed Countries  
Age of Responsibility  
Delinquency in Various World Regions  
Latin America  
Middle East  
Eastern Europe  
Juvenile Gangs Around the World  
Mexico and Central America  
International Approaches to Preventing Juvenile Gangs  
Human Trafficking and Youth Exploitation  
International Administration of Juvenile Justice  
International Standards and Documents  
Use of Restorative Justice With Young Offenders Around the World  
Key Terms  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 14. The Future of Juvenile Justice
What Would You Do?  
Possibilities for the Future of Juvenile Justice  
Barriers to Change in Juvenile Justice  
Possible Improvements to the Juvenile Justice System  
Key Terms  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Suggested Readings  
About the Authors


Instructor Resource Site

Instructor Teaching Site (Password Protected)


SAGE edge for Instructors, supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • SAGE premium video, featuring candid interviews with former offenders, connects criminological theories to real-life stories that students will remember.
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts by chapter to help you prepare for lectures and class discussions.
  • Lively and stimulating ideas for class activities that can be used in class to reinforce active learning. The activities apply to individual or group projects.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter is included.
  • Carefully selected, video links feature relevant interviews, lectures, personal stories, inquiries, and other content for use in independent or classroom-based explorations of key topics.
  • Web resources are included for further research and insights.
Student Study Site

Student Study Site (Open Access)


SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards reinforce understanding of key terms and concepts that have been outlined in the chapters.
  • Mobile-friendly web quizzes allow for independent assessment of progress made in learning course material.
  • Web exercises direct you to useful and current web resources, along with creative activities to extend and reinforce learning or allow for further research on important chapter topics. 
  • Carefully selected, video links feature relevant interviews, lectures, personal stories, inquiries, and other content for use in independent or classroom-based explorations of key topics.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter. This feature also provides questions to focus and guide your interpretation.
  • Web resources are included for further research and insights.
  • State-specific juvenile justice statutes for Texas, Illinois, and Missouri.
Key features
  • “What Would You Do?" scenarios introduce students to the chapter content by getting them into the mind-set of a practitioner.
  • "Critical Thinking Questions" appear at the end of boxed features to help students make the connection between the material presented and the issues they might encounter as a practitioner.
  • New legislation and court rulings related to juveniles are examined and provide students with the latest verdicts in the field.
  • Expanded coverage of critical topics in juvenile justice keeps students engaged and includes current issues such as the school-to-prison pipeline, cyberbullying, firearm homicide, social media usage, females in gangs, solitary confinement, and LGTBQ youth.
  • New examples featured within the “In Practice” boxes demonstrate what it's like to work in today’s juvenile justice system.
  • Briefer than most juvenile justice texts, this text does not overwhelm students with details but allows instructors to supplement their teaching with material that is of interest to them.
  • “In Practice” boxes link research to practice and help students see the practical application of what they are reading.
  • “Career Opportunity” boxes identify the skills and education needed for a range of potential juvenile justice careers that students can explore.
  • Built-in learning aids, including chapter learning objectives, summaries, key terms lists, and critical thinking exercises, provide essential support for student learning.
  • Comprehensive ancillaries include a password-protected Instructor Teaching Site and an open-access Student Study Site featuring links to online videos and NPR programming, self-quizzes, and SAGE journal articles for each chapter, among other resources.

For instructors

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