Simulated Social History of a Juvenile Delinquent



                               Instructor's Guide for

                       Juvenile Delinquent's History Generator

                         (c) 1986, 1995 by Charles L. McGehee



               The Juvenile Delinquent's History Generator program will
          generate a complete synthetic and unique social history for a
          fictional juvenile which is useful in teaching courses in
          Juvenile Delinquency, Criminology, Counselling, Social Work, and
          other areas concerned with problems of youth.

               The purpose of this program is to make possible assigning
          each student in a class his or her own personal "case" upon which
          to practice the concepts and techniques developed in the class.
          The student, who is identified by name on the case record as the
          Juvenile Officer in charge, is confronted with a named youth who
          has a life history, the characteristics of which have been
          generated randomly by the computer.  Although this history has
          been created by a computer, it accurately reflects key
          characteristics which are found in real life, i.e., family,
          school and criminal history, as well as personal qualities,
          tendencies, and practices.  No two cases assigned in a class will
          be alike.  Moreover, the program is designed in such a way that
          the instructor may make a separate copy of the case for security
          and future reference.

               To use the program, make sure your printer is properly
          hooked up and is turned on.  Then simply LOAD and RUN it
          according to the characteristics of your particular computer
          (versions are available for the IBM-PC, Apple IIe and Macintosh,
          and the Commodore 64).  When prompted, enter the number of
          students for whom you will be generating cases, the number of
          individual copies of each case you will want printed, and the
          name of each student.  The program will automatically create a
          unique case for each student and as many copies of that case as
          you have designated.  For best results set your printer to print
          10 characters per inch (pica) and 6 lines per inch.

               The social history is particularly useful in conjunction
          with an "actual" event, that is, the event which brought the
          youth into contact with the law.  The author uses cases such as
          the one included on this disk (file:  psi.txt).  The story is
          part of a general assignment in which the student is required to
          prepare an evaluation and recommendation for the court (a
          pre-sentence investigation (PSI), depending on the terminology of
          the jurisdiction).  Whatever the story, the student's response to
          it will depend on the characteristics of the youth involved.

               There are certain inherent limitations, of course, to
          computer simulations.  Most notable is the inability, in this
          case, to interview the subject person.  To help overcome this
          difficulty, a pattern is included on the social history page
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          which can be cut out, pasted on a piece of stiff paper, folded
          into a die and glued.  It will form a reasonably symmetrical cube
          if the report was printed at 10 characters/inch and 6 lines/inch.
          With this die the student can then "interview" the youth.

               A note on the use of the die for interviewing:  A certain
          amount of imagination will be necessary in order to conduct such
          an interview.  The party should be asked questions which can be
          answered yes or no.  In the final report these answers can be
          converted into statements.  For example, in answer to the
          question "Did you intend to sell the TV?" a "Maybe" might be
          expressed as "He evaded the answer when asked what he intended to
          do with the TV" (or if the answer was "No", "He denied it," etc.)

               Students should be cautioned to resist the temptation to
          alter or avoid answers or re-roll the die or otherwise try to get
          different answers simply because they are distasteful or unclear.
          Remember:  In a real situation we do not have any control over
          what people say to us.  They may be cooperative, contradictory,
          vague, hostile or evasive.  With young people, interviews may be
          particularly difficult and unsatisfactory.  It is up to the
          counsellor to make sense out of it all, regardless.

               The program is written in BASIC and is not copy-protected.
          If the user has some knowledge of programming, it can easily be
          listed and modified to incorporate additional or different
          information or other probabilities for various characteristics.
          For simplicity's sake, not all circumstantial possibilities are
          included nor do probabilities of given conditions necessarily
          reflect the probabilities found in real life.  Since the student
          is likely to be assigned only a single case, he or she is
          compelled to take the case "as it walks in the door." How typical
          it is with respect to the country or region as a whole is not
          important.  More important is that the class be assured the
          possibility of dealing with a variety of types of persons.

               As presently constituted, for instance, the probability of a
          male or female being chosen is equal, as is the probability of
          black or white being selected.  Possible ages range from 13 to 18
          with equal probability, though age is coordinated with grade in
          school, age at first offense, and age of child at time of
          parents' divorce, if applicable.

               Beyond these characteristics, the youth may have dropped out
          of school, may be a poor, average, good or even outstanding
          student.  The father may be unemployed or may be employed as a
          laborer, truck driver, machinist, salesman, businessman, or
          doctor.  The mother may be unemployed or be employed as a
          homemaker, waitress, secretary, sales clerk, business woman, or
          doctor.  The parents may be married, separated, or divorced.  He
          or she may be an only child, have one brother or one sister, two
          brothers or two sisters, or three brothers and three sisters.  If
          there are siblings, he or she may be the youngest or the oldest.
          The youth may have no previous criminal record or may have been
          arrested 1, 3, 6, 10, or 15 previous times for which he or she
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          may have received no treatment, or maybe have been sentenced to
          perform community service, make restitution, receive counselling,
          or be sent to a group home or an institution.  Offense and
          punishment are deliberately not linked within the program.  The
          offenses for which the youth may have been previously arrested
          are shoplifting, burglary, auto theft, robbery, assault, drugs,
          vandalism, and/or theft.

               Personally, the subject may be a bright loner, or may be
          withdrawn and sullen, friendly and outgoing, hot-tempered and
          unpredictable, gregarious and manipulative or hostile and moody.
          He or she may have been raised in a kind and loving way,
          supportively and encouragingly, may have been a spoiled child, or
          physically or emotionally abused.  The youth may never, seldom,
          or frequently engage in sexual relations, and if so, may do so
          always, usually or seldom with the same person.  Sexual
          orientation may be either homosexual or heterosexual, and sexual
          motivation may be either romantic attachment, recreation, or
          prostitution.  He or she may not use, use occasionally or
          frequently use tobacco, alcohol and/or drugs.  Further, he or she
          may attend church never, occasionally, weekly or several times
          weekly.  Not all probablilities in these latter categories are
          necessarily equal.

               These, then, are key points of interest to the juvenile
          court and to persons concerned with youth work.  You may wish to
          add characteristics and are encouraged to do so.  The author
          would appreciate hearing from you concerning your experiences
          with the program.  If you would like help in modifying it, please
          contact him at the following address:

          Charles L. McGehee
          1904 Parklane
          Ellensburg, WA 98926
          (509) 925-4219 or (509) 963-2005

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