The Prevalence of Delinquency

  • Paul E. Tracy
  • Marvin E. Wolfgang
  • Robert M. Figlio
Part of the The Plenum Series in Crime and Justice book series (PSIC)


One of the most basic questions surrounding the topic of juvenile delinquency concerns the proportion of youths at risk that have had official contact with the police or other official criminal justice agencies. At a minimum, delinquency research must measure the prevalence of the phenomenon by classifying the at-risk population at least in terms of the delinquent versus nondelinquent dichotomy. The accumulation of prevalence data thus provides information on the relative size of the delinquent population across demographic groups and regions and over time. These basic data are necessary for theory development and testing and are indispensable for informed social policy.


Recidivism Rate Juvenile Court Police Contact Race Effect Recidivist Category 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul E. Tracy
    • 1
  • Marvin E. Wolfgang
    • 2
  • Robert M. Figlio
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Criminal JusticeNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Sellin Center for Studies in Criminology and Criminal Law, Wharton SchoolUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.University of California, RiversideRiversideUSA

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