Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Over the last decade of the twentieth century, the media and scholarly literature on at-risk youth confirm that youth at both ends of the socioeconomic spectrum are labeled at-risk in our society in one way or another. Depending on the yardstick, however, some at-risk behavior is more likely to be labeled criminal, thus bringing particular youth into direct contact with the youth justice system. To be sure, a rising number of middle- and upper-class youth are closing the gap in terms of risk behavior exhibited. At-risk youth as a class-neutral phenomenon was brought to national attention during the Columbine incident in 1999, when two high-school students in an affluent Denver suburb killed twelve classmates and a teacher. Nevertheless, poor, minority, at-risk youth are more likely to come into contact with either the social welfare system or the juvenile justice system. Therefore, more is known about their at-risk behavior, their treatment ...