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Juvenille Psychopsths Essay, Research Paper

This newest phenomenon in the world of crime is perhaps the most dangerous challenge facing society and law enforcement ever. They are younger, more brutal, and completely unafraid of the law. While current research on the super predator is scarce, I will attempt to give an indication as to the reasons that a child could become just such a monster. Violent teenage criminals are increasingly vicious.

Young people, often from broken homes or so-called dysfunctional families, who commit murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and other violent acts. These emotionally damaged young people, often are the products of sexual or physical abuse. They live in an aimless and violent present; have no sense of the past and no hope for the future; they commit unspeakably brutal crimes against other people, often to gratify whatever urges or desires drive them at the moment and their utter lack of remorse is shocking. (9) Studies reveal that the major cause of violent crime is not poverty but family breakdown; specifically, the absence of a father in the household. Today, right now, one-fourth of all the children in the United States are living in fatherless homes – this adds up to 19 million children without fathers. Compared to children in two parent family homes, these children will be twice as likely to drop out of school, twice as likely to have children out of wedlock, and they stand more than three times the chance of ending up in poverty, and almost ten times more likely to commit violent crime and ending up in jail. (1) The Heritage Foundation – a Conservative think tank – reported that the rise in violent crime over the past 30 years runs directly parallel to the rise in fatherless families. In every state in our country, according to the Heritage foundation, the rate for juvenile crime “is closely linked to the percentage of children raised in single-parent families. And while it has long been thought that poverty is the primary cause of crime, the facts simply do not support this view. Teenage criminal behavior has its roots in habitual deprivation of parental love and affection going back to early infancy, according to the Heritage Foundation. A father’s attention to his son has enormous positive effects on a boy’s emotional and social development. But a boy abandoned by his father in deprived of a deep sense of personal security, In a well-functioning family,” he continued, “the very presence of the father embodies authority” and this paternal authority “is critical to the prevention of psychopathology and delinquency.” (2 “The overwhelming common factor that can be isolated in determining whether young people will be criminal in their behavior is moral poverty,” Greenberg says. (3) According to the recently published “Body Count: Moral Poverty . . . and How to Win America’ s War Against Crime and Drugs,” a new generation of “super-predators, ” untouched by any moral inclinations, will hit America’s streets in the next decade. John DiIulio, the Brookings Institute fellow who co-wrote the book with William Bennett and John Walters, calls it a “multi variate phenomenon, ” meaning that child abuse, the high number of available high-tech guns, alcoholism and many other factors feed the problem. University of Pennsylvania professor Mavin Wolfgang says, “6 percent to 7 percent of the boys in an age group will be chronic offenders, meaning they are arrested five or more times before the age of 18.” If that holds true, because there will be 500,000 more boys ages 14 to 17 in the year 2000 than there were in 1995, there will be at least 30,000 more youth criminals on the streets. “The big destruction happens early,” Heritage Foundation fellow Pat Fagan says. “By the age of 4 or 5, the kid is really warped. Psychologists can predict by the age of 6 who’ll be the super-predators.” According to Fagan: Child abuses and alcohol ruins these children. John Dilulio asserts that “each generation of crime-prone boys has been about three times as dangerous as the one before it.” And, he argues the downhill slide into utter moral bankruptcy is about to speed up because each generation of youth criminals is growing up in more extreme conditions of “moral poverty” than the one before it. Mr. Dilulio defines moral poverty as “growing up surrounded by deviant, delinquent, and criminal adults in abusive, violence-ridden, fatherless, godless, and jobless settings.” The “super-predator”, as told to a Washington press gathering by DiIulio, is a breed of criminal so dangerous that even the older inmates working their way through life sentences complain that their youthful counterparts are out of control. (5) DiIulio’s “super predators” are born of abject “moral poverty,” which he defines as: The poverty of being without loving, capable, responsible adults who teach you right from wrong. It is the poverty of being without parents, guardians, relatives, friends, teachers, coaches, clergy and others who habituate you to feel joy at others’ joy, pain at others’ pain, happiness when you do right, remorse when you do wrong. It is the poverty of growing up in the virtual absence of people who teach these lessons by their own everyday example, and who insist that you follow suit and behave accordingly The need to rebuild and resurrect the civil society (families, churches, community groups) of high-crime, drug-plagued urban neighborhoods is not an intellectual or research hypothesis that requires testing. It’s a moral and social imperative that requires doing – and doing now. (9) The lay person that the ?super predator? is actually a young psychopath or psychotic can assume it -quite logically- The “super predator? is almost completely without ambition, they are often of below average intelligence, and they do not recognize -intellectually or otherwise- any rules of society. While psychopaths and the “super-predator” both share the inability to feel emotion, the psychopath can feign it to achieve a result, the “super predator” seems completely incapable of even that. More interestingly, the “super predator” is remarkably candid. They will more often than not, admit not only to their crimes, but also as to the why, and as to the fact that they did nothing wrong and would do it again.

When asked by DiIulio what was triggering the explosion of violence among today’s young street criminals, a group of long- and life-term New Jersey prisoners did not voice the conventional explanations such as economic poverty or joblessness. Instead, these hardened men cited the absence of people – family, adults, teachers, preachers, coaches- who would care enough about young males to nurture and discipline them. Even more shocking than the sheer volume of violent juvenile crime is the brutality of the crime committed for trivial motives: a pair of sneakers, a jacket, a real or imagined insult, and a momentary cheap thrill. For example: — * A 59-year-old man out on a morning stroll in Lake Tahoe was fatally shot four times by teenagers “looking for someone to scare.” The police say the four teenagers – just 15 and 16 years old – were “thrill shooting.” * A 12-year-old and two other youths were charged with kidnapping a 57-year-old man and taking a joy ride in his Toyota. As the man pleaded for his life, the juveniles shot him to death. * A 14-year-old boy was murdered while trying to reclaim a $2,500 stereo system he had received from his grandfather. Five juveniles, ranging in age from 15 through 17 years, were charged with the crime. (10)

1- Ethnic NewsWatch ? SoftLine Information, Inc., Stamford, CT

2- 2- F.R. Duplantier, The Importance Of Fathers 08-16-1995, HERITAGE FOUNDATION HOME PAGE

3-Worsham, James-Blakely, Stephen-al, et, Crime and drugs.., Vol. 85, Nation’s Business, 02-01-1997, pp 24.

4-Julia Duin, Alarm over crime puts focus on nation’s `moral crisis’., The Washington Times, 11-17-1996, pp 31.

5-Parker, Shafer, Violence with a youthful face.., Vol. 23, Alberta Report /Western Report, 06-17-1996, pp 27.

6- Richard Zoglin Reported By Sam Allis/Boston And Ratu Kamlani/NEW YORK,CRIME: NOW FOR THE BAD NEWS: A TEENAGE TIME BOMB., TIME, 01-15-1996, pp 52+.

7-NINA J. EASTON, The Crime Doctor Is In; But Not Everyone Likes Prof. JohnDiIulio’s Message: There Is No Big Fix; Home Edition., Los Angeles Times, 05-02-1995, pp E-1.

8-Paul Kaihla, NO CONSCIENCE, NO REMORSE. MACLEAN’s 1/22/96

9- William J. Bennett, John J. DiIulio, Jr., and John P. Walters BODY


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