Distribution of Victorian Juvenile Offenders

AuthorDennis Challinger
Publication Date01 March 1971
DOI10.1177/000486587100400104
Date01 March 1971
AUST. &N.Z. JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY (March, 1971): 4, 1
Distribution of
Victorian
Juvenile
Offenders
DENNIS
CHALLINGER*
27
THIS
paper
investigates
the
distribution of juvenile offenders
throughout
Victoria, with
particular
reference to
the
Melbourne
metropolitan
area,
in
the
years 1966
and
1969.
The
concept of a distribution of offenders on
an
area
basis was pioneered by Shaw
and
McKay in Chicago
in
the
1940'SI,
since
then
many
intensive studies
have
been conducted mainly by Ameri-
cans.
In
Melbourne in 1939
and
1940 Meadows, a Children's Court Probation
Officer, analysed juvenile offenders' home addresses
and
ranked
Melbourne
suburbs by
the
occurrence of both delinquency
and
truancy-, Subsequently
in a work entitled Preventing
the
Increase of Dellnquency-, Meadows
in-
vestigated
the
connection between
the
delinquency
rate
and
the
incidence
of public reserves, playgrounds, clubs
and
sporting facilities
in
various
suburbs of Melbourne. Meadows suggested
that
the
provision of more leisure
time
accommodation was
the
prime
means
of preventing
an
increase in
Melbourne's delinquency.
The situation is quite different today.
The
recreational
areas
of Mel-
bourne suburbs
must
include, in addition to Meadows' public reserves
and
sporting grounds, open playing space
around
high
rise
flat
development,
indoor bowling alleys, squash courts
and
the
like, for all of these provide
areas
that
satisfy Meadows'
"counter-attraction-to-crime"
criterion.
In
addition
the
range
and
number
of youth, church, sporting
and
hobby clubs,
Boy Scouts, Legacy
and
other
organisations catering for young people,
has
increased manyfold over
the
last
30 years.
The
accumulation of such
data
is now a
mammoth
task
falling beyond
the
scope of this
particular
work.
The
data
collected
in
this
study for
the
last
appearance
of every
offender
at
aVictorian Children's Court
in
the
calendar years 1966
and
1969 comprised
the
following:
(a)
Year of
birth
of
the
offender
(b)
sex
of offender
(c) Postcode of offender's residential address
at
the
time of
the
offence,
and
*B.Sc. (Hons), Assistant Research Officer with
the
Victorian Social Welfare Depart-
ment. This
paper
is based on work submitted to the University of Melbourne
Criminology
Department
for Diploma Studies.
1. C. R.
Shaw
&H. D. McKay,
"Juvenile
Delinquency
and
Urban
Areas",
Univ. Chicago
Press,
1969 (rev. ed.)
2. A. Meadows,
"Truancy
and
It's
Relation to Delinquency". Appendix to
Victorian
Children's
Court
Annual
Report
1942.
3. A. Meadows,
"Preventing
the
Increase
of Delinquency". Appendix to
Victorian
Children's
Court
Annual
Report
1943.

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