Cover image for Superpredators : the demonization of our children by the law
Superpredators : the demonization of our children by the law
Elikann, Peter T.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Insight Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiv, 242 pages ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1330 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV9104 .E438 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Almost weekly it seems that we're bombarded with gruesome headlines of horrific criminal acts committed by young people - adolescents shoot their peers in the schoolyard; a teenager gives birth at her prom, kills the baby, and rejoins the dance; two boys allegedly kill a girl for her bicycle. Are children today more violent and remorseless than in the past? Is this the advent of a youth crime wave? What's the best option to fight juvenile crime - prevention and rehabilitation or life sentences in adult prisons and the death penalty? Superpredators: The Demonization of Our Children by the Law tackles these important questions head-on. Peter Elikann, criminal defense attorney, legal commentator, and author, persuasively argues that children are not born to become superpredators" who wreak havoc on society. Superpredators fiercely champions these littlest individuals and, in fact, adopts an optimistic note - that youth crime will continue to drop as long as we invest in our childrenwith proven policies and ethics for living and interacting. We must reevaluate the family unit and bring adults, mentors, and role models into the lives of our children."

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

"Superpredator" is the chilling name currently given to the most severe juvenile offenders. Can they be saved? Is it right to lock them away for life? What went wrong? Elikann, an attorney, Court TV commentator, and chair of the Criminal Justice Section of the Massachusetts Bar Association, writes that these youths can indeed be helped, offering a 15-point plan based on intervention, strengthening families, rehabilitation, and role models. Chapter 5, which eerily connects with the reasons behind the Littleton shootings, merits extra attention. Elikann argues that there is no such thing as a motiveless crime and deals with the role shame and disrespect play in retribution. This book is well researched, straightforward, and unforgettable. Buy it, promote it, use it in discussion groups. Recommended for all libraries.ÄSandra Isaacson, OAO Corp/US EPA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Elikann explores cases of difficult-to explain violent acts committed by children that have received extensive coverage in the public press in recent years. He suggests that harsh attitudes toward and treatment of these children is inappropriate and nonproductive. He attributes these acts to the failure of various social institutions in the children's environment to properly socialize them. Elikann argues for strong prevention programs (sound cooperative community programs to properly socialize children) as the appropriate response to contemporary youth violence. Elikann is an attorney who was an accomplished reporter. His sources are drawn primarily from the public media. His book is well written and easy to read. It is recommended for libraries serving the general public. R. T. Sigler University of Alabama

Table of Contents

Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Chapter 1 Introduction and Overview: Children as the Enemyp. 1
Chapter 2 A Coming Youth Crime Wave by a Nation of Sociopathsp. 21
Chapter 3 The Everydayness of Firearmsp. 79
Chapter 4 Adult Trials and Prisons for Juvenilesp. 107
Chapter 5 Shame: The Little-Known Secret of Crimep. 161
Chapter 6 the Solution: Intervention, Families, Role Models, the Media and Rehabilitation

p. 183

Chapter 7 Conclusion: A 15-Point Planp. 203
Notesp. 213
Indexp. 237