A juvenile delinquent is a troublemaker who is also not an adult. Usually it refers to a child or teenager who has been in trouble with the law. As Ponyboy tells it, both the Greasers and the Socs are basically juvenile delinquents. The Socs “get editorials in the paper for being a public disgrace one day and an asset to society the next” (p. 2). Ponyboy recognizes a double standard. However, he appreciates that the greasers often have run-ins with the law.
Greasers are almost like hoods; we steal things and drive old souped-up cars and hold up gas stations and have a gang fight once in a while. (ch 1, p. 2)
As a greaser, Ponyboy worries about walking alone. He is afraid he will get jumped by a Soc just because he is a greaser. Ponyboy does get into trouble when he brawls with the Socs and they accidentally kill one. Ponyboy and his friend Johnny have to go on the run from the law.
Although they are juvenile delinquents, the greasers are fairly represented. Although some, like Dally, have a record “a mile long” (p. 54), it is not usually a source of pride (except for Dally).
Dally he’ve been in jail multiple times.