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American Youth Violence

American Youth Violence

A Cautionary Tale

(p.7) 1 American Youth Violence
Choosing the Future for American Juvenile Justice
Franklin E. Zimring
NYU Press

This chapter examines youth homicide trends from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, when sharp increases in killings by youths and young adults generated fears of “juvenile superpredators.” These homicides were tied to a sharp increase in gun use by younger offenders. Analysts predict further increase in juvenile homicide in future years, and that six percent of all children alive in 2010 will be superpredators. However, what happened after 1995 was a classic regression toward prior proportions of youth to total homicide that interacted with general declines to produce huge drops in youth violence. Youth homicide arrests had actually begun to drop in 1994, and by 2005 the total volume of Supplemental Homicide Reports (SHR) homicide arrests and suspects under 18 had dropped by two-thirds.

Keywords:   youth homicide trends, younger offenders, juvenile homicide, juvenile superpredators, Supplemental Homicide Reports

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