Why is the number of homicides committed by youths rising in the United States? An escalating problem in this country, Juvenile Homicide has been considered an epidemic by mental health professionals as well as practitioners in the juvenile justice and criminal systems. In her book Young Killers, Kathleen M. Heide blends compelling case studies with an empirical assessment of male adolescent murderers, creating a readable and interesting scholarly text. This book explores several factors that contribute to the rise of juvenile homicide including home and family environments, role models, the witnessing of violence, access to weapons, the availability of drugs and alcohol, personality characteristics, and the cumulative effect of having little to lose. Although this book focuses on male juvenile offenders, Heide also addresses the changing percentage of juvenile females arrested for homicide and examines gender issues in juvenile homicide. She discusses the reasons girls may be more likely to kill family members than boys are and examines the effects of the women′s movement on girls and crime. Heide also addresses psychological assessment, treatment issues, and prevention strategies aimed at reducing the incidence of juvenile homicide. Young Killers is written with clarity, making it accessible to a wide-ranging audience. This definitive work on juvenile homicide will benefit both undergraduate and graduate students, and professionals in criminal justice, criminology, sociology, social work, counseling, and clinical psychology.
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