Controversies in Juvenile Justice and Delinquency: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Controversies in Juvenile Justice and Delinquency

2nd Edition

By Peter J. Benekos, Alida V. Merlo


364 pages

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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.

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

About the Authors

Peter J. Benekos is Professor Emeritus of the Criminal Justice Department at Mercyhurst University. He has conducted research and published in the areas of juvenile justice, corrections, and public policy, and is the co-author of a number of books. Before his long career in teaching and research, he served as corrections counselor with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections in both prison and community-based corrections settings. Dr. Benekos is a recipient of the Mercyhurst University Teaching Excellence Award as well as the Founders Award and Outstanding Mentor Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). He is past president of the Northeastern Association of Criminal Justice Sciences and an ACJS trustee.

Alida V. Merlo is Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her current research interests include juvenile justice, criminal justice policy, and women and the law. She is the past president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), and is the recipient of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Fellow Award, Founder’s Award, and Outstanding Mentor Award, as well as the 2016 Coramae Richey Mann Leadership Award from the ACJS Minorities and Women Section. Dr. Merlo serves on the editorial board of Crime & Delinquency, the International Journal of Police Science and Management, and Women & Criminal Justice.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Law Enforcement