Young Blood: Juvenile Justice and the Death Penalty

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Shirley Dicks
Prometheus Books, 1995 - Social Science - 295 pages
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Teenage crime and violence are escalating at an alarming rate. Drugs and gangs are everywhere, and in many neighborhoods people are afraid to walk outside their homes. This hard-hitting book examines juvenile crime and its effects on victims, perpetrators, and their families. Editor Shirley Dicks, whose son, Jeff, is on death row, knows from personal experience how one senseless act can forever alter the lives of everyone involved. Dicks examines the problems of today's youths, the types of crimes committed, and suggestions to keep our young people from following the criminal path.

Young Blood features writings by death-row inmates, family members of victims and perpetrators, religious and political figures, journalists, criminologists, and legal experts, along with information on programs designed to help young people who have gone astray. Intimate personal accounts reveal the fear and regret of death-row inmates as well as the horror and anxiety of their loved ones. In one moving chapter, a mother speaks candidly about the murder of her daughter and how she feels toward the murderer. Alternately grief-stricken and angry, she concludes that it is up to every citizen to play a part in helping our troubled children before they grow up to become gun-toting hoodlums.

Young Blood advocates rehabilitation programs, a new national emphasis on broken families and the problems of youth, child care for single mothers, and an overhaul of the juvenile-justice system. Dicks calls for a distinction between justice and revenge, and offers a provocative, wrenching, yet realistic look at a problem that threatens the future of our society.

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Should Teens Be Tried as Adults?
Drugs and Teen Violence
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About the author (1995)

Shirley Dicks has waged a long campaign against the death penalty. She is the author of Congregation of the Condemned: Voices Against the Death Penalty.

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