Australian Institute of Criminology

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Counterproductive juvenile justice

Australian Institute of Criminology, Joan McCord
20 July 2001 -

Joan McCord
Temple University, United States of America


The heavy burden of justice becomes particularly complicated when faced with holding juveniles responsible for their misbehaviour. Juvenile delinquents have typically had no opportunity to learn how they ought to act. The solution has been to focus on rehabilitation. Several common features of rehabilitation efforts that have been counterproductive will be discussed. The seminar will conclude with a discussion of alternative approaches to crime prevention.

Joan McCord, a former President of the American Society of Criminology and co-chair of the (American) National Academy of Sciences panel on juvenile justice, is Professor of Criminal Justice at Temple University. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University. Dr. McCord's research has focused on using longitudinal data to understand the impact of a variety of types of socialization on criminal activities and on evaluating the impact of a variety of types of intervention on antisocial behaviour. She has also done research on alcoholism, psychopathy, domestic violence, and co-offending. In addition to these substantive areas, McCord has written about methods for research and about theories explaining criminal behaviour. She is a vice president of the International Society of Criminology and on the advisory board of the international society for building a network of credible criminal justice intervention studies known as the Campbell Collaboration.

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