Juvenile Justice
A Reference Handbook, 2nd Edition
by Donald J. Shoemaker and Timothy W. Wolfe
January 2016, 314pp, 6x9
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4074-6
$66, £49, 55€, A95
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4075-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Should the goal of the juvenile justice system be rehabilitation or punishment?

Authoritative, current, and easy to use, this book is an outstanding resource for readers looking to gain an accurate and thorough understanding of American juvenile justice.

Juvenile delinquency has been of interest to the general public and academic scholars for many decades—and it has been an ongoing societal problem for the same amount of time. Delinquency covers a range of behaviors from minor offenses, such as trespassing or vandalism, to the more serious crimes often associated with gangs that include murder. Juvenile Justice: A Reference Handbook puts juvenile justice under the microscope, surveying its long history and key issues, exploring the myriad of problems and controversies tied to the juvenile justice system, and explains how policymakers and legal professionals have tried to solve these vexing issues.

The book first presents historical and contemporary discussions of juvenile justice, especially in the United States. The next chapters address problems, controversies, and possible solutions for juvenile justice; present insightful, diverse perspectives from leading experts; and profile important figures in the juvenile justice system and the field of crime and delinquency. The book also contains data and primary documents that show who gets processed through the juvenile justice system and for what kinds of criminal acts.


  • Presents historical and contemporary data in an easy-to-understand fashion that survey the complex history of the juvenile justice system and allow readers to better comprehend the key issues
  • Includes a perspectives chapter that enables readers to hear voices from individuals with different backgrounds who are concerned with juvenile justice
  • Provides an ideal resource for general readers who want to learn more about the history and current events concerning juvenile justice as well as students without previous background knowledge of the subject
  • Contains a chronology of key moments in the history of juvenile justice in the United States as well as a glossary of key terms and definitions to guide the reader
Donald J. Shoemaker, PhD, is professor of sociology at Virginia Tech. He has published extensively in the field of crime and delinquency, including Theories of Delinquency: An Examination of Explanations of Delinquent Behavior and a second edition of Juvenile Delinquency. Shoemaker has also conducted international research on crime and delinquency, particularly in the Philippines, and has written several articles on crime and delinquency in the Philippines. His research interests include youth crime and delinquency and issues of juvenile justice. He received his master's degree and doctorate in sociology from the University of Georgia.

Timothy W. Wolfe, PhD, is associate professor of sociology and director of the Human Services Program at Mount St. Mary's University. He has published research on juvenile delinquency, race and the criminal justice system, the death penalty, and college student binge drinking, and his current research efforts focus on restorative justice programs. He is a regular volunteer with the juvenile justice system in his community and is also involved in a longitudinal study of aspiring jazz musicians. Wolfe received his doctorate in sociology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


"This book provides a good starting point for research by high school and college students, scholars, and general readers as well as practitioners, activists, and others. The writing style is easy to understand and the content offers thought-provoking issues."—ARBA, September 28, 2016

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


Subject coverage spans six main categories:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that support statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
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