Benjamin Chambers on Some Surprising Findings About Youth Attitudes Toward Crime

Do delinquent teens see criminal activity as something positive? Many adults assume that they do. However, research by Rachel Swaner and Elise White, published in 2010 by the Center for Court Innovation, suggests that for some youth at least, their attitudes and values are not anti-social at all. Though the youth outcomes in their study were not terribly positive, it underscores the need to provide youth with opportunities to do positive activities that reinforce their positive values. The study, titled, “Drifting Between Worlds: Delinquency and Positive Engagement among Red Hook Youth,”  involved a small sample of 44 youth in a housing project in Red Hook, Brooklyn.