Viewing Juvenile Delinquency through a Canadian Educational Lens: A Mixed Methodological Approach

By Warnie James Richardson, Michael Parr, Jeff Scott and Mike McCabe.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this paper, by utilizing data made available through normal admitting procedures at a large urban juvenile detention-centre, and by perusing documents, school and court reports, and official assessments that followed these “young offenders” to the facility over a studied eight year period, the authors document some profound differences between the incarcerated sampling and the larger population from which they come. Of particular significance within the data are the areas of socioeconomic status, previous schooling history, “special education” designations, family dysfunction, peer influence, gender, and leisure-time commitment. To further explore and better understand their data, the authors distill the personal perspectives of four former students, now adults, through five well established criminological paradigms. The authors conclude by claiming that within the etiological chain leading directly from being at-risk to juvenile delinquency, the educational component would appear to warrant some special attention due to its potential to neutralize many of the other variables, which, in adolescence, can negatively impact the development of latent human potential.

Keywords: Criminological Theory, Socioeconomic Status, Leisure-time Commitment, Family Dysfunction, Gender, School Failure, Peer Influence, Juvenile Delinquency, Streaming, Special Education

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.119-132. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 857.361KB).

Dr. Warnie James Richardson

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Warnie Richardson is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Special Education at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario, Canada. His doctoral work and most of his writing to date have focused on the life experiences of juvenile delinquents and the incredible resiliency of at-risk or marginalized adolescents. Prior to arriving at Nipissing, he was a Special Education teacher/educational assessor for sixteen years, all in very hard-to-serve educational environments in both Canada and the Caribbean.

Prof. Michael Parr

Professor, Faculty of Education, Education and Schooling , Special Education, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada

Michael Parr currently teaches in the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University and brings with him considerable experience working with students ‘at risk’ as well as those students identified as having specific emotional and behavioural disorders. His wide variety of teaching experiences in both segregated and regular classroom settings, as well as his experiences as an administrator, have been instrumental in serving as a springboard into his research addressing the needs of students ‘at risk’. Other research interests center around teacher education, and educational leadership & change with emphasis placed on practices that foster Inclusive schools and issues of equity and social justice.

Dr. Jeff Scott

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Jeff Scott is currently working in the role of Assistant Professor in the Pre-Service teaching program at Nipissing University. He teaches the science component for primary junior Pre-Service teachers emphasizing inquiry- based learning and experiential education. Prior to joining Nipissing University, Dr. Scott was a primary/junior teacher and has taught in both Canada and New Zealand.

Dr. Mike McCabe

Assistant Professor, Mathematics and Physical Education, Faculty of Education, Nipissing University, Ontario, Canada

Dr. McCabe currently teaches Mathematics and Physical Education within the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University, in Ontario, Canada. Prior to arriving at Nipissing, he assisted in the development of an evaluation framework for a community and school-based program aimed at reducing factors associated with at-risk adolescents.

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