UNDERSTANDING JUVENILE DELINQUENCY by Lee R. Steiner

UNDERSTANDING JUVENILE DELINQUENCY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lee Steiner, who is a practising psychologist, psychoanalyst, lecturer, popularizer (Make the Most of Yourself, etc.) has drawn on a great many court cases, government and welfare agency reports, as well as her private practice, for a case illustration of juvenile delinquency. All of this material- very interesting material- certainly contributes to ""understanding""- but most of her opinions aired and conclusions drawn seem to indicate that we are very far away from handling delinquency with any hope of helping the offender. Two more extensive histories, of a schizophrenic and a psychopath, show that in these two areas of the severely disturbed, therapy is of no value, and at all times institutions are no more than ""merely depositories"". Delinquency, which does not necessarily involve emotional illness, may just be the product of poverty. She discounts media influences (TV, etc.) as really contributory; she feels that education, without relation to the child's intellectual and emotional stability, is often valueless; and she concludes that therapy is most successful when it is not labelled as such (i.e. Boys' Town) and that psychoanalysis was never intended as an approach to penological problems, and it has been an expensive technique for the taxpayer.... A discussion which may invite disagreement- but it is blunt and dismayingly realistic.

Publisher: Chilton