From Violent Juvenile Offenders to Dangerous Violent Criminals: A Test of Athens' Theory

Roger Jarjoura, Indiana University - Indianapolis
Ruth Triplett, Old Dominion University

This paper provides a test of Athens' theory of the creation of dangerous violent criminals. Using qualitative data from life history interviews with 25 juvenile offenders serving time in a state-run correctional facility, we consider the utility of this theory for explaining the serious violent offending of youths aged 18 or 19 at the time of the interview. Through analysis of transcripts of the interviews, wer are able to classify the subjects along the experiences depicted in the four stages of Athens' model: brutalization, belligerency, violent performances, and virulency. Theoretical and policy implications are offered.

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Updated 05/20/2006