Youth Violence

March 5, 2010 • Volume 20, Issue 9
Are “get tough” policies the best approach?
By Thomas J. Billitteri


Fifteen-year-old Denver Jarvis is charged with dousing another teenager with rubbing alcohol (AP Photo/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Joe Cavaretta)
Fifteen-year-old Denver Jarvis is among three teenagers from Deerfield Beach, Fla., charged with dousing another teenager with rubbing alcohol and setting him on fire last October, reportedly after a dispute over $40 and a bicycle. (AP Photo/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Joe Cavaretta)

Several recent violent crimes by youths, including the vicious beating death of a Chicago honor student by a mob of teenagers, have sparked a new look at urban youth violence. Despite a steep overall drop in youth crime in recent years, researchers say many urban areas continue to be plagued by homicide and other violence involving young offenders. Some experts say tougher sentencing laws and a greater focus on parental responsibility are the best ways to fight the violence, while others argue for more federal money for social programs and anti-violence efforts. In some cities, collaborative approaches involving police, educators, community leaders and neighborhood groups are aimed at pressing youths to forsake violence while offering them a path toward redemption. Meanwhile, two competing proposals are being considered on Capitol Hill, and major foundations are funding programs to help youths in trouble.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Juveniles and the Justice System
Sep. 11, 2015  Reforming Juvenile Justice
Mar. 05, 2010  Youth Violence
Nov. 07, 2008  Juvenile Justice
Apr. 27, 2001  Kids in Prison
Mar. 15, 1996  Preventing Juvenile Crime
Feb. 25, 1994  Juvenile Justice
Jul. 17, 1987  Troubled Teenagers
Nov. 28, 1986  Juvenile Justice
Jul. 27, 1979  Juvenile Justice
Feb. 11, 1970  Juvenile Offenders
Jul. 17, 1957  Reform of Delinquents
Sep. 25, 1953  Youngsters in Trouble
Sep. 08, 1950  Teen-Age Lawbreakers
Feb. 23, 1943  Juvenile Delinquency
Juvenile Justice