- 犯罪社会学研究 (ISSN:0386460X)
- no.24, pp.129-147, 1999
Recently in Japan, an increase and deterioration of juvenile delinquency is reported by the law enforcement agencies and mass-media. But, I cannot fully agree with these reports. I have, therefore, tried to evaluate the present state of juvenile delinquency as accurately as possible. I adopted these three measures as the criteria of evaluation; (1) rate of delinquency in past 30 years, (2) rate of delinquency of the other countries in the year, (3) rate of adult crime in the year. 1) The rate of juvenile delinquency in 1996 (10.1: per 1000 teenagers) is average compared with the data of past 30 years. 2) This rate is lower than such countries as the United States, Great Britain, Germany and France. 3) But, this rate is extraordinarily high compared with the rate of adult crime in the year. The arrested of teenagers equal 50% of the total, even though they make up 13% of the total population. By the way, these trends began to emerge from around 1980. I regard these trends as "extraordinarily low percentage of adult crime." Why does this peculiar situation arise? I considered this question from the three points of view. 1) Viewpoint of environmental conditions: Environments surrounding crime had differential effects on adults (decriminalization9 and on juvenile (criminalization). 2) Viewpoint of relation between adult and juvenile (on system level and individual level); Systematization of society tends to suppress deviation of adults, while promoting deviation of juvenile. 3) Viewpoint of crime-structure; Crime structure has been changing largely. "Ordinary crime" such as theft and violence became the domain mainly of juvenile, while traffic-crime and business-crime became more serious for adults.