Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Violent Juvenile Offenders
Zina McGee & Tiffany Latham
A violent crime is defined as a crime in which the offender uses or threatens to use violent force upon the victim. These include willful homicide, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. In many communities across the United States, the number of juvenile offenders has become an important issue, posing problems for juvenile authorities and the public. Youth in Black and Latina/o communities are often depicted as the predominant perpetrators of violent crimes. This entry examines and compares the rates of violent offenses and reviews structural explanations of juvenile violence among communities. Although juvenile violence occurs at many different ages, the average age of a juvenile's first court appearance is 14. Behavior problems are known to develop around age 7, and crimes are committed around age 12. Of the various types of violent crimes, murder is the most severe form of all violent crimes. Firearms are used in the majority ...