Do All Juveniles Belong to Cosa Nostra? Palermo and Catania are the two main cities of Sicily - Despite the fact that they share similar problems, such as underdevelopment, unemployment and social deprivation, the Juvenile Courts of the two cities apply different policies when dealing with juvenile deviants. When the same kind of crimes committed by juvenile defendants are considered, the Palermo court is found to be more lenient than its counterpart in Cata235 nia. Seeking an explanation for this discrepancy, the two authors discuss figures and use qualitative material to argue that it must be connected to the different relationship between organised crime and juvenile deviance in the two cities. In Palermo, Cosa Nostra has a more structured and hierarchical organisation, which disciplines criminal activities and thus reduces street crime to a marginal phenomenon. As Palermo judges are aware of this, they are more lenient with juvenile offenders. Catania is different, as the local mafia does not have the same centralised organisation as in Palermo, particularly since the city’s most prominent Mafiosi were arrested. As a consequence, the borderline between street crime and organised crime becomes blurred, while youths are often involved in such offences as extortion, rackets and homicide. This situation influences the more repressive tendency manifested by the judges in the juvenile courts of Catania.
Vincenzo Scalia, Michele Mannoia, in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL DIRITTO " 3/2008, pp. 113-138, DOI:10.3280/SD2008-003004