MIDDLE-CLASS DELINQUENCY IN A SUBURBAN NEW JERSEY COMMUNITY

DONALD ALLEN TORRES, Fordham University

Abstract

This research is concerned with the area of middle-class delinquency in a suburban New Jersey area for the 1979 calendar year. Essentially the thrust of the inquiry dealt with two major areas: was the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) as published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reflective of reported delinquency related incidents in Middleville, a middle-class suburban community; and were delinquent incidents reported accurately from the Middleville High School to the police department.^ In this research the specific field of traffic related moped/minibike violations were not required to be reported in the UCR and evidence indicates that these violations were not adjudicated at the lowest levels of the juvenile justice system. The traffic related violations were not considered "serious" criminal violations, but were viewed in the community as one of other youth related offenses which determined the level of adjudication for the offender.^ Review of records indicated all drug related violators at the high school were reported to the police which was consistent with Board of Education policy. Other violations such as alcohol related incidents, vandalism, thefts, arsons, false fire alarms, and similar offenses were not always reported to the police. Approximately 200 reported vandalism, theft and possible arsons were known to school officials, but never reported to police based on inconsistent policy of discretion and failure to contact police officials to determine specific types of incidents to be reported. In many cases parents or youth victims reported thefts to the police as a matter of record, but no follow-up investigation was ever conducted by the police.^ Research also indicated vandalism, drug, and alcohol related offenses in the community a low priority with the police; altercations in the school were documented for males but none for females; no real police interaction program conducted in high school for 1979 time period; police would probably not have fully investigated vandalism offenses in the high school if reported since vandalism was considered a low priority crime with low clearance rates in the community; and both educators and police officials believed that the police would have wanted to be aware of most high school vandalism and other delinquent related incidents. ^

Subject Area

Criminology

Recommended Citation

TORRES, DONALD ALLEN, "MIDDLE-CLASS DELINQUENCY IN A SUBURBAN NEW JERSEY COMMUNITY" (1983). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8415520.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8415520

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