Understanding Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
by Marilyn D. McShane and Michael Cavanaugh, Editors
November 2015, 262pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3962-7
$65, £50, 57€, A90
Paperback: 978-1-4408-4359-4
$45, £35, 40€, A62
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3963-4
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Juvenile incarceration rates in the United States are the highest among industrialized nations.

This book provides a comprehensive, cutting-edge look at the problems that impact the way we conduct intervention and treatment for youth in crisis today—an indispensable resource for practitioners, students, researchers, policymakers, and faculty working in the area of juvenile justice.

Understanding Juvenile Justice and Delinquency provides a concise overview of the most compelling issues in juvenile delinquency today. It covers not only the range of offenses but also the offenders themselves as well as those impacted by crime and delinquency. All of the chapters contain up-to-date research, laws, and data that accurately frame discussions on youth violence, detention, and treatment; related issues such as gangs and drugs; the consequences for scholars, teachers, and students; and best practices in intervention methods.

The book’s organization guides readers logically from the broader definitions and parameters of the study of juveniles to the more specific. The volume leads with an explanation of the relationship between victimization and juvenile behavior and sets up boundaries of the arenas of delinquency—from the family to the streets to cyberspace. The book then focuses on more specific populations of offenders and offenses, including recent, emerging issues, offering the most accurate information available and cutting-edge insight into the issues that affect youth in custody and in our communities.


  • Provides insights into juvenile justice from contributors and editors who have extensive experience in teaching, researching, and writing on the subject
  • Represents an ideal teaching text for courses in juvenile justice—a staple topic in all criminology and criminal justice college programs
  • Presents analysis and evaluation of techniques used and programs employed, enabling readers to be better advocates for law and policy impacting youth
  • Includes discussion questions appropriate for classroom settings and lists of additional resources, related websites, and supporting films that guide students in investigating the subject further
  • Supplies updated data and information on policy and law that will serve as a vital resource for students writing papers or scholars teaching in the field of juvenile justice
Marilyn D. McShane, PhD, is professor of criminal justice at the University of Houston. She has been coprincipal investigator in a number of correctional research grants. Her published work includes journal articles, monographs, encyclopedias, and books on a wide range of criminological and criminal justice subjects, including Women and Criminal Justice; Criminological Theory, 6th Edition; Praeger's three-volume set Youth Violence and Delinquency: Monsters and Myths; A Thesis Resource Guide for Criminology and Criminal Justice; and Encyclopedia of Juvenile Justice.

Michael R. Cavanaugh, PhD, is assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Houston. He has published articles in a number of notable journals, including Journal of Quantitative Criminology, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, and Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Additionally, he is coauthor of the forthcoming book, The Legal Rights of the Convicted (second edition). He received his doctorate in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University.


"This book functions as both an assessment and a proposal for change. . . . Overall [the editors] are succinct, persuasive, and provide compelling evidence for their analysis and ideas. . . . Each chapter does an excellent job at underlining the fact that the criminal justice system is flawed and unfair to juveniles. . . . A significant contribution to adolescent studies."—Journal of Youth and Adolescence, June 7, 2017
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