Children's and Youthful
Criminality in the USA
In 1956 г,
in the USA
left the book “Youthful criminality” under edition S.Meklelana's Grant. This
book represents the collection of articles of the American authors who are
engaged in research of a problem of children's and youthful criminality in its
various aspects. In the book opinions of responsible statesmen, lawyers,
psychiatrists, sociologists, writers, teachers, parents and representatives of
other groups of the population at a problem of criminality among minors in the USA are stated.
In the present information those
opinions which represent the greatest interest for the Soviet reader are short
stated only. In particular, considerable interest is caused by sights of some
the American authors of the reasons of children's and youthful criminality and
about methods with which help, in their opinion, ostensibly it is possible to
achieve decrease in growth of criminality among minors in the USA.
In the majority the American authors
investigating questions of children's and youthful criminality, are far from
disclosing of the valid reasons of criminality among minors. In the USA they try to
explain enormous growth of children's and youthful criminality any the minor
reasons. Only separate authors in the articles presented in the considered
book, try to hint shy at the true reasons of criminality among minors, without
opening thus completely the sights on this point in question.
All American authors who are engaged
in research of a problem of children's and youthful criminality in the USA, mark huge
growth of criminality among minors. The children's and youthful criminality is
a tragedy of the modern American validity. The problem of children's and
youthful criminality in the USA,
according to the majority of authors, is sharper, than in any ругой to the world country.
Data, available FBI, show that the
crimes of all poisons made in the country in 1954, have increased on 8, 2 % in
comparison with 1953, in
1953 the criminality was above on 8 % in comparison with 1952 How much this
general increase in criminality in the USA is caused by growth of criminality
among minors, it is visible from the following data. According to FBI, in 1953
young criminals to 18-year-old age had been made 53, 6 % from among all
automobile thefts in 1174 cities; 49, 3 % of all burglaries; 40, 1 % of all
other kinds of thefts; 18 % of all robberies and 16, 2 % of all rapes.
If the tendency to growth of
children's and youthful criminality takes place and further the following
generation will witness a result more than 41, 8 million cases of larceny, 15,
8 million burglaries, 7, 4 million automobile thefts, 2 million robberies, 3
million physical violence and more than 200 thousand Americans will appear
killed. Now in the USA
every year more than 1 million teenagers make one or several crimes. If it will
not be possible to suspend growth of criminality among minors, that, according
to Klendenena (see the named book, p. 9 and сл.), by 1960 the children's criminality
increases more than to 1, 5 million cases a year.
The children's and youthful
criminality in the USA
in the development as some authors mark, accepts more and more rough and severe
forms. Young criminals who broke 10 years ago street lanterns, break now skulls
of people. Therefore, according to Evane (p. 41—42), the problem of children's
and youthful criminality is one of the greatest problems in a life of a modern
Than so wide development and rise in
crime among minors in the USA
speaks? On this question among the American authors who are engaged in research
of children's and youthful criminality, there is no common opinion. Barron
Milton (p. 59—63) considers that in movement of children's and youthful
criminality is observed defined кругооборот or fluctuation. He cannot explain these
fluctuations, but their studying, from its point of view, allows to draw the
The children's and youthful
criminality increases during the periods of economic prosperity and falls down
during the depression periods, increases in a preparation time to war and the
war and falls during the world. From here Milton
concludes that most plausible reasons of increase in criminality among minors
in the USA
are either war or prosperity. The opposite picture is observed with criminality
of adults. The criminality of adults begins to decline during prosperity and
war and rises during depression and the world. Milton explains this opposite tendency of
criminality of adults and children to that character of economic changes in
military or the peace time renders various psychological, social and economic
influence on adults and children.
Some American authors great value in
development of criminality among minors give religions. In their opinion,
disbelief in god — the serious factor influencing growth of children's and
youthful criminality. According to many, on growth of criminality among minors
the great influence is rendered by the comics published in the USA in million
circulations and in the majority describing crimes, made mainly minors.
Influence of these comics on children hugely. Comics specially intend for
teenagers and, in essence, contain all necessary lessons how it is necessary to
commit crimes. Teenagers study on such comics and go on crimes already with the
The violence and sadism are preached
in many comics. And all it is accompanied by evident illustrations. Under the
influence of one only comics the criminality of minors in the USA has increased in 1954
in comparison with 1947 by 20 %. Vertham Frederik (p.
78—91) as a result of numerous supervision and researches has come to a
conclusion that the comics describing crimes, are the serious factor in growth
of children's and youthful criminality now. At the same time he believes that
comics not unique and in many cases at all the most important factor, but,
undoubtedly, most inexcusable factor.
The part of authors considers
children's and youthful criminality in the USA
as result of imitation. Finally, from their point of view, young criminals gain
experience and knowledge in criminal craft from adults surrounding them.
Between criminality of adults and minors there is a direct communication: when
children on experience of adults see that the laws establishing certain rules
of behaviour, the regulating questions connected with drunkenness, gamblings,
trade etc., can be ignored; see that adults can leave “dry water”, they start
to imitate this adults.
On development of criminality among
minors the great influence renders distribution to the USA alcoholic drinks and drugs. Along with
alcoholic drinks and drugs in the USA
on minors fatal influence the photos render, the illustrated playing cards, патефонные plates, cinema, television screens,
the slides, the illustrated books and the brochures representing low sexual
distortions. The large quantity of all these pornographic materials specially
intends for youth that makes the big business which income fluctuates annually
between 100 and 300 million dollars.
Absence of effective laws on
struggle against spread of drug addiction and the pornographies, poisoning
minds and bodies of teenagers, from the point of view of many authors, is one
of the serious reasons of children's and youthful criminality in the USA.
Some explain criminality as result
bad personal приспособляемости to environment. The part of authors specifies in overflow of schools,
weakness of laws, a wide circulation of cases оставления children parents, public
indifference to children who are in a difficult situation, and other
circumstances as on social conditions or the reasons which promote growth of
criminality among minors.
Sights of the American authors at
the reasons of criminality among minors are inconsistent. Some authors consider
children's and youthful criminality as result of severe conditions by which the
life in slums is characterised. They specify that the families living in these
slums, usually very poor, huddle in small rooms. Parents often face the great
difficulties connected with unemployment. Therefore in blighted areas almost
all possible forms of crimes and defects more often concentrate.
According to other authors, a
prevailing sight that young criminals in the majority leave from трущобных areas and poor families, now does
not represent the facts. Young criminals leave equally as families with an
average or well-founded prosperity, and from families with a low prosperity.
The part of authors asserts that the
majority of young criminals is “sick children”. Their opponents categorically
deny it. From their point of view, young criminals mentally healthy and
physically strong, like all those children who do not make crimes.
Separate researchers a criminality
principal cause see in parents. They consider that in most cases crimes are
made by children of whom parents do not care or carelessly concern their
education. Wrong education of the child in family conditions results, from
their point of view, in development of criminal bents in the early childhood,
and to liquidate these bents subsequently hardly. If parents carelessly concern
education of children, the last go on street and become criminals.
As show the data when the teenager
goes on a crime, it is usually found out that this teenager has been left by
parents to the mercy of fate, of it did not care, conflicts made on it between
parents, drunkenness and any other untoward influences in a family bad impact.
The divorce wide circulation, stiffness in mutual relations between parents, absence
of normal conditions, care and supervision and other abnormalities in family
conditions make considerable impact on growth of criminality of minors in the USA.
A number of authors considers wrong
the reasons of children's and youthful criminality to reduce to influence of
parents or abnormal relations in a family. They believe that the criminality
reason are bad material conditions, lacks of religious education, bad school
conditions, the description of violence in films or telecasts etc.
Sights of the American researchers
and at a school role in development of children's and youthful criminality in
the USA are inconsistent.
One assert that between criminality of minors and school there is a direct
communication, others deny it. So, for example, Howard Uajtman (p. 71—78)
specifies that the discipline of teenagers became now the big problem at
schools of the USA. In a
number of schools management and managers do not spend any work on discipline
maintenance at school. Uajtman results cases of drawing of physical injuries
knifes, beatings of teachers, colliding of women downwards on school ladders,
murders of other pupils from fire-arms, extortionate night attacks and other
crimes made by pupils.
A bit different point of view on a
case in point Ernest adheres to O.Melbi (p. 69—71). He agrees that the
discipline at some schools of the USA
really is a critical problem. However, in its opinion, the serious antisocial
acts made by minors, are rather rare. Now serious disciplinary problems arise
at the American schools where educational process is badly adjusted. At schools
in which teachers are able to interest the pupils, seldom it is necessary to meet
difficulties in discipline.
In sights of the authors which
articles are presented in the considered book, has not found the
acknowledgement opinion existing in the USA
that the criminality among the Negro population is more extended than among the
white population. In particular, as specifies Klendenen (p. 14 and сл.), there is no basis to assert that
the criminality is ostensibly more inherent in Negroes, than any other members
of the American society.
Thus, many American authors studying
children's and youthful criminality, cannot or simply do not wish to open the
main reason of growth of criminality among minor century of the USA, rooting in the essence of a capitalist
system. From here, naturally, and methods which they offer in struggle against
children's and youthful criminality, cannot affect a little essentially
decrease in criminality among minors and the more so, completely to resolve a
problem of children's and youthful criminality in the USA.
In struggle against children's and
youthful criminality in the USA
the diversified actions are offered. Some of them have naive character. So, for
example, Edgar Hoover (p. 169—175), considers that the problem of children's
and youthful criminality can be resolved ostensibly ”only by inculcation by the
adult of high moral qualities by means of religion. Other American authors also
specify in a religion great influence in the prevention of crimes. In their
opinion, the church and a synagogue are the important means for inculcation of
moral and social qualities of the American youth.
From the point of view of many, the
most effective action which can be undertaken for the control over children's
and youthful criminality, education of parents in the spirit of correct
performance of the parental duties by them is. For decrease in children's and
youthful criminality it is offered to undertake the certain steps directed on
strengthening of a family and elimination or, at least, restriction of many
conditions, harmful to children, maintenance with councils and the help in
family questions, to complicate divorces, to improve the program of
entertainments, to strengthen censorship of telecasts, films, etc. As one of
actions for struggle against children's and youthful criminality some offer
strengthening of responsibility of minor criminals. From their point of view,
reform of criminal punishment should bring success in struggle against
criminality of minors.
One of the practical actions
ostensibly promoting realisations”the control over children's and youthful
criminality in the USA,
according to Hoover, is
removal of fingerprints at all teenagers arrested for serious crimes. He
suggests to transfer conducting struggle against children's and youthful
criminality in hands of national police as last to do it easier and easier.
Local police: has no sufficient experience of struggle against criminality of
minors. Carrying out in a life of this action, according to Hoover, ostensibly is the important step to the
decision of a problem of children's and youthful criminality to the USA.
Necessary action in struggle against
criminality of minors, from the point of view of separate authors, is the
liability of parents for causing of a property damage of a private property by
their children. The press disclosing in the press names of those young
criminals which commit heavy and repeated crimes, also can make essential
impact on parents and force them to give more than attention to behaviour of
Many among minors consider as
serious action for the prevention of criminality a direction of their energy on
useful business. In last generations, from their point of view, teenagers
worked more, therefore to keep them in hands it was easier, than now. During
the modern mechanised epoch children often appear in a trouble of that at them
it is too much free time. For this reason it is necessary to support more the
civil (secular), school and church organisations providing the programs of rest
Some American authors for struggle
against criminality of minors offer carrying out of certain system psychiatric
and any to other help to young criminals, strengthening of care of children in арестных houses, any organisation of
establishments, clubs, hospitals, etc. Many consider that with children's and
youthful criminality it is possible faster and to struggle more economically by
wide realisation of programs of education and rest for all children in national
comprehensive schools. The great value in struggle against growth of criminality
among minors, according to separate authors, has an employment of the young men
who have left school.
The big possibilities in the
prevention of criminality of minors many authors see at school. With that end
in view they offer to spend a new sort of the discipline at schools, which
essence consists in creating round teenagers disciplining conditions, to have
on them the psychological influence, a sense of responsibility imparting by it
for the acts. And, the new discipline, from their point of view, will be
effective means only in the event that parents and teachers will hang together
in carrying out of disciplinary influence on teenagers and at schools and at
As preventive maintenance against
consumption of drugs separate authors offer hospitalisation of addicts and a
strict compulsory sentence about jail placement without removal of action or
conditional clearing on bail of the minor criminals recognised guilty of spread
of drug addiction.
For struggle against children's and
youthful criminality some authors suggest to limit or liquidate gamblings for
children. From their point of view, the public opinion should raise the voice
against owners of the brothels, secretly selling to teenagers spirits and
various pornographic products. The maintenance of the considered book is that