By the end of the 20th century, observers such as Craine, S. and Coles, B. (1995) described early adolescence as an unsettling and stormy phase of the life course.
The growth of public schools, and the concomitant age grouping that resulted, prompted increased public concern about youth. Although some private or public primary schools were established in a few 17th-century New England towns, most parents either taught their own children or shared in the paying for a temporary private school teacher. By the early 19th century, however, primary schools were established in many northeast towns, and by the mid-19th century most communities in that region had well-developed public common school systems. In the South, however, few public schools were created, so that as late as 1900 large numbers of children received little formal education (Newburn, T. and Stanko, E. (eds) 1994).
A disproportionate amount of recorded crime is committed by young people, especially by young males. In 1994, two out of every five offenders were under the age of 21 and a quarter were under 18 [Audit Commission, 1997]. A small number of persistent offenders commit most of the crimes by young people. A survey through which respondents self reported their offences over the previous twelve months identified that 3% of young people, mostly young males, were responsible for about a quarter of all offences [Graham and Bowling, 1995]. http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_mobility/documents/page/dft_mobility_503832-04.hcsp
In contrast to a decade ago, young people and young males in particular are not growing out of offending behavior as they reach their late teens and early twenties. Property offending by young males may now be increasing with age up to the mid twenties [Bright, 1997]. The known rate of offending by young adult males aged 18 to 24 years has increased significantly and, as a result, the peak age of offending for young men has increased from 15 years in 1986 to 18 years in 1994. In contrast, the peak age of offending for women has remained between 14 and 15 years of age [Audit Commission, 1997]. Female offenders who become socially mature adults are significantly more likely to stop offending than those who do not, whereas this development process appears to make little difference to male offenders [Graham and Bowling, 1995]. http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_mobility/documents/page/dft_mobility_503832-04.hcsp
Crime by young people hasn’t risen in the past five years and the number of known young offenders fell by 14% between 1995 and 2001 (Source: Criminal Statistics 2001).
However, three-quarters of respondents in a recent survey believed the number of young offenders had risen (Source: Youth Crime and Youth Justice: Public opinion in England and Wales 2004).
Youthful offenders were more likely to be arrested for property crimes and ordinance violations compared to older adults who were more apt to be charged for drunkenness and moral offenses. Perhaps the most striking finding, however, was that arrest rates at all ages are much higher today than in the past, and that there has been a relative increase in the proportion of crime committed by young people (Davies M, Tyrer J amp. Croall H 1998).
The growing attention to youth