Study on Juvenile Psychopaths


What is the "super predator"? He or she are young
hypercriminals who are committing acts of violence of unprecedented
coldness and brutality. This newest phenomena in the world of crime is
perhaps the most dangerous challenge facing society and law
enforcement ever. While psychopaths are not new, this breed of super
criminal exceeds the scope of psychopathic behavior. 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 a child could become just such a monster.

Violent teenage criminals are increasingly vicious. John
DiIulio, Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton
University, says that "The difference between the juvenile criminals
of the 1950s and those of the 1970s and early 1980s was the difference
between the Sharks and the Jets of West Side Story and the Bloods and
the Crips. It is not inconceivable that the demographic surge of the
next ten years will bring with it young criminals who make the Bloods
and the Crips look tame." (10) They are what Professor DiIulio and
others call urban "super predators"; 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)

On top of the problem of single parent homes, is the problem
of the children whose behavioral problems are linked to their mothers\'
crack use during pregnancy. These children are reaching their teenage
years and this is "a potentially very aggressive population,"
according to Sheldon Greenberg, director of Johns Hopkins University\'s
Police Executive Leadership Program. What\'s more, drug use has more
than doubled among 12- to 17-year-olds since 1991. "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,