Youth Violence: Perception Versus Reality

Research Report

Youth Violence: Perception Versus Reality

May 15, 1999

Abstract

As public concern grows over juvenile violence, the juvenile court system is increasingly seen as weak and ineffective. Federal and state legislators are under pressure to pass stricter juvenile crime laws, send more youth to adult court, and make the juvenile system more formalized and adversarial. However, our research shows that some of this public concern is based on inaccurate perceptions of who is responsible for violence in America. Specifically, there is confusion over the difference between crime by juveniles and crime by youth, which includes young adults.

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