The Importance of Family in Non-Lethal Youthful Offending

Erika Gebo, Westfield State College

ABSTRACT
Little attention has been devoted to studies of non-lethal youthful offending within the family context, yet family relationships are a crucial concept in many criminological theories and juvenile justice interventions. Through an analyhsis of detained youth in a small Northeastern state, this study examines youth who committed family violence offenses. Results show that, over a one-year period, 40% (N=74) of all youth detained in the state are detained for offenses against family members. As compared to other detainees, these youth are significantly more likely to be minor offenders, disproportionately female, and disproportionately nonwhite. Further differences between these family violence offenders and non-family violence offenders are examined. Findings point to areas of needed research as well as policy recommendations for youthful family violence offenders at the system level and the family level.

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Updated 05/20/2006