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What is the "super predator"? He or she are young hypercriminals who are committing acts of violence of unprecedentedcoldness and brutality. This newest phenomena in the world of crime is perhaps the most dangerous challenge facing society and law enforcement ever. While psychopaths are not new, this breed of super criminal exceeds the scope of psychopathic behavior. They are younger, more brutal, and completely unafraid of the law. While current research on the super predator is scarce, I will attempt to give an indication as to the reasons a child could become just such a monster. Violent teenage criminals are increasingly vicious. John DiIulio, Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University, says that "The difference between the juvenile criminals of the 1950s and those of the 1970s and early 1980s was the difference between the Sharks and the Jets of West Side Story and the Bloods and the Crips. It is not inconceivable that the demographic surge of the next ten years will bring with it young criminals who make the Bloods and the Crips look tame." (10) They are what Professor DiIulio and others call urban "super predators"; young people, often from broken homes or so-called dysfunctional families, who commit murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and other violent acts. These emotionally damagedyoung people, often are the products of sexual or physical abuse. They live in an aimless and violent present; have no sense of the past and no hope for the future; they commit unspeakably brutal crimes against other people, often to gratify whatever urges or desires drive them at the moment and their utter lack of remorse is shocking.(9) Studies reveal that the major cause of violent crime is not poverty but family breakdown - specifically, the absence of a father in the household. Today, right now, one-fourth of all the children in the United States are living in fatherless homes - this adds up to 19 million children without fathers. Compared to children in two parent family homes, these children will be twice as likely to drop out of school, twice as likely to have children out of wedlock, and they stand more than three times the chance of ending up in poverty, and almost ten times more likely to commit violent crime and ending up in jail. (1) The Heritage Foundation - a Conservative think tank - reported that the rise in violent crime over the past 30 years runs directlyparallel to the rise in fatherless families. In every state in our country, according to the Heritage foundation, the rate for juvenilecrime "is closely linked to the percentage of children raised in single-parent families. And while it has long been thought that poverty is the primary cause of crime, the facts simply do not support this view. Teenage criminal behavior has its roots in habitual deprivation of parental love and affection going back to early infancy, according to the Heritage Foundation. A father\'s attention to his son has enormous positive effects on a boy\'s emotional and social development. But a boy abandoned by his father in deprived of a deep sense of personal security, In a well-functioning family," he continued, "the very presence of the father embodies authority" and this paternal authority "is critical to the prevention of psychopathology and delinquency." (2) On top of the problem of single parent homes, is the problem of the children whose behavioral problems are linked to their mothers\' crack use during pregnancy. These children are reaching their teenage years and this is "a potentially very aggressive population," according to Sheldon Greenberg, director of Johns Hopkins University\'s Police Executive Leadership Program. What\'s more, drug use has more than doubled among 12- to 17-year-olds since 1991. "The overwhelming common factor that can be isolated in determining whether young people will be criminal in their behavior is moral poverty," Greenberg says. (3) According to the recently published "Body Count: Moral Poverty . . . and How to Win America\' s War Against Crime and Drugs," a new generation of "super-predators, " untouched by any moral inclinations, will hit America\'s streets in the next decade. John DiIulio, the Brookings Institute fellow who co-wrote the book with William Bennett and John Walters, calls it a "multi variate phenomenon, " meaning that
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Criminology, Crime, Forensic psychology, Child abuse, Family therapy, Prison, Abuse, Violence, Psychopathy, Single parent
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