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Guns, a Reign of Terror, Part II

This is a continuation of my previous blog on a book by Tom Diaz called "The Last Gun." 

Race and the Drug War

As so many have noted time and again, young black males have received the brunt of the “war on drugs.”

Youth Gangs in the Twenty-First Century: Back to the Future, Part III

This is the third in a series of blogs adapted from the 4th edition of Youth Gangs in American Society by Shelden along with Sharon Tracy and William Brown (Cengage, 2013).

Youth Gangs in the Twenty-First Century: Back to the Future, Part II

This is the second in a series of blogs adapted from the 4th edition of Youth Gangs in American Society by Shelden along with Sharon Tracy and William Brown (Cengage, 2013).

Youth Gangs in the Twenty-First Century: Back to the Future

This is the first in a series of blogs adapted from the 4th edition of Youth Gangs in American Society by Shelden along with Sharon Tracy and William Brown (Cengage, 2013).

America is Ranked 29th in Child Well-Being

A review of the UNICEF Report on Child Well-being shows the U.S. is near the bottom of the list across every dimension: poverty, health and safety, education, behaviors/risk, and housing/environment. 

Meanness and Violence

A colleague and I were talking the other day about how much violence there is in American society. We both admitted that the extent of violence in America exceeded by far every other industrialized democratic society. Why is this, we asked? The pursuit of the almighty dollar was one factor, along with the stress associated with this.

Boston Bombings

It has now been more than a week since the dramatic event that came at the end of the annual Boston Marathon. What concerns me the most is the media coverage and what many would call an overreaction by law enforcement.

The rich get richer while everyone else struggles

A couple of interesting news stories appeared today in the Los Angeles Times.  The first one is titled “Forbes' tally of billionaires jumps 16%; Buffett drops in list.”  The second is called “Nearly half of Americans are one emergency from financial ruin.”

Debtor's prisons alive and well

As I have written before jails have been largely reserved for the poor and at one time in history words like jails and poorhouses (along with workhouses and prisons) were used interchangeably.

Part IV: Trends in Girls' Crime

This is the last of my four part blog series on girls and juvenile justice. Part I provided an overview of the most recent information, Part II discussed the prevalence of histories of sexual abuse among justice-involved girls, Part III dealt with runaways, and this blog will conclude with the most common offense committed by girls.

Part III: Trends in girls' crime

It was noted in part II of this series that girls who run away from home are often doing so because of sexual abuse at home.  As reported in the New York Times an estimated 1.6 million juveniles run away from or are thrown out of their homes each year; over half are girls. 

Part II: Trends in girls' crime

As noted in Part I of this series, running away and sexual abuse are much more significant in the lives of girls than boys. Sexual abuse is particularly salient for girls and may well propel girls into behaviors such as running away from home or other status offenses. As already noted, girls are much more likely than boys to be the victims of childhood sexual abuse: it has been estimated that roughly 70 percent of the victims are female.

Part I: Trends in girls' crime

Meda Chesney-Lind and I are currently updating our book Girls, Delinquency and Juvenile Justice (to be published by Wiley-Blackwell at the end of this year) and in this blog I want to report some updated information about recent trends in the offenses girls commit.

What about Men? A follow-up to Newtown Shootings
In my most recent blog I happen to mention in passing that most of these kinds of shootings are committed by men.  In a recent article by Meghan Murphy expanded on this often neglected fact. The issue of guns and access to mental health care has most often been discussed, writes Murphy, but, she says, "no one is asking what is, for once, the single most important question: What about the men?" After listing some of the most well-known mass shootings dating back to 1984, she writes that "In…
Gun nuts run amok
This past summer a young man named James Holmes bought four guns at local shops and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the Internet in the two months prior to opening up inside a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado.   Now we have still another man (they always seem to be men) going berserk in an elementary school in Connecticut , killed at least 30 people, 20 of them children.   One recent report noted that "the gun murder rate in the U.S. is almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest…
Senior Research Fellow Randall Shelden presents at ASC Conference 2012
On November 17, 2012, CJCJ Senior Research Fellow Randall G. Shelden presented at the American Society of Criminology Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. In the session titled The Politics of Punishment and Correction , Professor Shelden discussed his comparison of corporate crime to gang activity.  Please access his PowerPoint presentation attached below. In addition, Professor Shelden has written about this issue extensively on CJCJ's blog, in a series entitled Is Wall Street a gang? …
Legalized pot and easing of 'three strikes' law mark unique election
The voters have spoken.  Not only did they re-elect Barack Obama but in two states -- Colorado and Washington  -- possession of small quantities of marijuana was legalized. A clear message to the federal government to back off.   At the same time California voters  sent another message: the current "strike 3 and you're out" law is way too harsh.   The measures I-502 in Washington and Amendment 64 in Colorado was the culmination of about a half century of efforts to bring some sanity to…
Romney, the 47% and juvenile justice
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney committed a major blunder that has gone viral all across the country.  In a moment of candor he told a very exclusive audience (of mostly some of the infamous one percenters and perhaps a few wanabees) that "There are 47 percent of the [American] people who will vote for the president no matter what....there are 47 percent who are with whom, who are dependent on government, who believe they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to…
Jails, poorhouses, and debtor's prisons
CJCJ staff writer Selena Teji recently posted a blog called "Overcrowded jails, the bail industry, and pretrial alternatives ."  Among other things she notes that many are in jail "simply because they cannot afford to post bail." In short, it's a place for the poor. A couple of years ago I posted an article called "From Poorhouses to Jails, Same Function, Different Time " I began by referring to a book by David Wagner called The Poorhouse: America's Forgotten Institution .  In his book one…
Transferring Inmates Out-Of-State Has Negative Consequences
Transferring Inmates Out-Of-State Has Negative Consequences California Progress Report, August 1, 2012
The gateway myth
I've heard the story hundreds of time: pot is the "gateway" drug.  Smoke a joint one day and next thing you know you are hooked on heroin or cocaine. I recall sitting in on a panel discussion on drugs at UNLV and a couple of the "experts" repeated the claim.  One man in the audience who was apparently an ex-con told the audience something like "everyone I knew in prison who used heroin or cocaine also smoked pot."  My protests to the contrary fell upon deaf ears.  Part of this myth is the…
Slavery's legacy alive and well in Louisiana
Douglas Blackmon's best-selling book Slavery by Another Name dispels one myth after another as he reveals the continuing of a system of slavery under a different name: convict leasing. This was a system whereby former black slaves were routinely rounded up on minor charges (or no charges at all) like vagrancy, placed in local county or town jails, brought to court and fined a small amount ($25 or $50).  Since they could not pay the money (as they were too poor and were traveling from town to…
Collateral Consequences of Interstate Transfer of Prisoners
Collateral Consequences of Interstate Transfer of Prisoners
Youth Gangs In American Society

A survey of the literature on gangs and gang activities in America includes theoretical perspectives on why gangs exist, gang typologies, descriptions of gang activities, and various intervention strategies for dealing with gangs.

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